Demographics of India

India is the second most populated country in the world with nearly a fifth of the world's population. According to the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects[6][7] the population stood at 1,352,642,280.

Between 1975 and 2010, the population doubled to 1.2 billion, reaching the billion mark in 1998. India is projected to surpass China to become the world's most populous country by 2024.[8] It is expected to become the first country to be home to more than 1.5 billion people by 2030, and its population is set to reach 1.7 billion by 2050.[9][10] Its population growth rate is 1.13%, ranking 112th in the world in 2017.[11]

India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan; and, by 2030, India's dependency ratio should be just over 0.4.[12] However, the number of children in India peaked more than a decade ago and is now falling. The number of children under the age of five peaked in 2007, and since then the number has been falling. The number of Indians under 15 years old peaked slightly later (in 2011) and is now also declining.[13]

India has more than two thousand ethnic groups,[14] and every major religion is represented, as are four major families of languages (Indo-European, Dravidian, Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan languages) as well as two language isolates (the Nihali language[15] spoken in parts of Maharashtra and the Burushaski language spoken in parts of Jammu and Kashmir (Kashmir)). 1,000,000 people in India are Anglo-Indians and 700,000 Westerners from the United States are living in India.[16] They represent over 0.1% of the total population of India. Overall, only the continent of Africa exceeds the linguistic, genetic and cultural diversity of the nation of India.[17]

The sex ratio was 944 females for 1000 males in 2016, and 940 per 1000 in 2011. This ratio has been showing an upwards trend for the last two decades after a continuous decline in the last century.[19]

The following table lists estimates for the population of India (including what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh) from prehistory up until 1820. It includes estimates and growth rates according to five different economic historians, along with interpolated estimates and overall aggregate averages derived from their estimates.

The population grew from the South Asian Stone Age in 10,000 BC to the Maurya Empire in 200 BC at a steadily increasing growth rate,[28] before population growth slowed down in the classical era up to 500 AD, and then became largely stagnant during the early medieval era up to 1000 AD.[20][22] The population growth rate then increased in the late medieval era (during the Delhi Sultanate) from 1000 to 1500.[20][22]

India's population growth rate under the Mughal Empire (16th–18th centuries) was higher than during any previous period in Indian history.[28][29][22] Under the Mughal Empire, India experienced an unprecedented economic and demographic upsurge,[28] due to Mughal agrarian reforms that intensified agricultural production,[30] proto-industrialization[31] that established India as the most important centre of manufacturing in international trade,[32] and a relatively high degree of urbanisation for its time;[33] 15% of the population lived in urban centres, higher than the percentage of the population in 19th-century British India[33] and contemporary Europe[33] up until the 19th century.[34]

Under the reign of Akbar (reigned 1556–1605) in 1600, the Mughal Empire's urban population was up to 17 million people, larger than the urban population in Europe.[35] By 1700, Mughal India had an urban population of 23 million people, larger than British India's urban population of 22.3 million in 1871.[36] Nizamuddin Ahmad (1551–1621) reported that, under Akbar's reign, Mughal India had 120 large cities and 3,200 townships.[33] A number of cities in India had a population between a quarter-million and half-million people,[33] with larger cities including Agra (in Agra Subah) with up to 800,000 people[37] and Dhaka (in Bengal Subah) with over 1 million people.[38] Mughal India also had a large number of villages, with 455,698 villages by the time of Aurangzeb (reigned 1658–1707).[35]

In the early 18th century, the average life expectancy in Mughal India was 35 years.[39] In comparison, the average life expectancy for several European nations in the 18th century were 34 years in early modern England, up to 30 years in France, and about 25 years in Prussia.[40]

The total fertility rate is the number of children born per woman. It is based on fairly good data for the entire years. Sources: Our World In Data and Gapminder Foundation.[41]

The population of India under the British Raj (including what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh) according to censuses:

Studies of India's population since 1881 have focused on such topics as total population, birth and death rates, growth rates, geographic distribution, literacy, the rural and urban divide, cities of a million, and the three cities with populations over eight million: Delhi, Greater Mumbai (Bombay), and Kolkata (Calcutta).[46]

Mortality rates fell in the period 1920–45, primarily due to biological immunisation. Other factors included rising incomes, better living conditions, improved nutrition, a safer and cleaner environment, and better official health policies and medical care.[47]

India occupies 2.41% of the world's land area but supports over 18% of the world's population. At the 2001 census 72.2% of the population[51] lived in about 638,000 villages[52] and the remaining 27.8%[51] lived in more than 5,100 towns and over 380 urban agglomerations.[53]

India's population exceeded that of the entire continent of Africa by 200 million people in 2010.[54] However, because Africa's population growth is nearly double that of India, it is expected to surpass both China and India by 2025.

The table below summarises India's demographics (excluding the Mao-Maram, Paomata and Purul subdivisions of Senapati District of Manipur state due to cancellation of census results) according to religion at the 2011 census in per cent. The data are "unadjusted" (without excluding Assam and Jammu and Kashmir); the 1981 census was not conducted in Assam and the 1991 census was not conducted in Jammu and Kashmir. Missing citing/reference for "Changes in religious demagraphics over time" table below.

The table below represents the infant mortality rate trends in India, based on sex, over the last 15 years. In the urban areas of India, average male infant mortality rates are slightly higher than average female infant mortality rates.[71]

Some activists believe India's 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven – activists posit that eight million female fetuses may have been aborted between 2001 and 2011.[77] These claims are controversial. Scientists who study human sex ratios and demographic trends suggest that birth sex ratio between 1.08 and 1.12 can be because of natural factors, such as the age of mother at baby's birth, age of father at baby's birth, number of babies per couple, economic stress, endocrinological factors, etc.[78] The 2011 census birth sex ratio in India, of 917 girls to 1000 boys, is similar to 870–930 girls to 1000 boys birth sex ratios observed in Japanese, Chinese, Cuban, Filipino and Hawaiian ethnic groups in the United States between 1940 and 2005. They are also similar to birth sex ratios below 900 girls to 1000 boys observed in mothers of different age groups and gestation periods in the United States.[79][80]

41.03% of the Indians speak Hindi while the rest speak Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Maithili, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and a variety of other languages. There are a total of 122 languages and 234 mother tongues. The 22 languages are Languages specified in the Eighth Schedule of Indian Constitution and 100 non-specified languages.

The table immediately below excludes Mao-Maram, Paomata and Purul subdivisions of Senapati District of Manipur state due to cancellation of census results.

Structure of the population (9 February 2011) (Census) age wise are shown below:[94]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

1,166,079,217 (July 2009 est. CIA),[99] 1,210 million (2011 census),[100] 1,281,935,911 (July 2017 est.)

0–14 years: 27.34% (male 186,087,665/female 164,398,204)
15-24 years: 17.9% (male 121,879,786/female 107,583,437)
25-54 years: 41.08% (male 271,744,709/female 254,834,569)
55-64 years: 7.45% (male 47,846,122/female 47,632,532)
65+ years: 6.24% (male 37,837,801/female 42,091,086) (2017 est.)

74% (age 7 and above, in 2011)[102]
81.4% (total population, age 15–25, in 2006)[103]

At birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
Under 10 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15–24 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
24–64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2017 est.)

Total population: 69.7 years
Male: 68.4 years
Female: 71.2 years (2020 est.)[101]

The TFR (total number of children born per women) by religion in 2005–2006 was: Hindus, 2.7; Muslims, 3.1; Christians, 2.4; and Sikhs, 2.0.[106]

Hindus 79.5%, Muslims 15%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%, other and unspecified 2% (2011 est.)[101][107][108][109][110]

Scheduled castes: 16.6% (2011 census);[111][112] scheduled tribes: 8.6% (2011 census)

See Languages of India and List of Indian languages by total speakers. There are 216 languages with more than 10,000 native speakers in India. The largest of these is Hindi with some 337 million, and the second largest is Bengali with 238 million. 22 languages are recognised as official languages. In India, there are 1,652 languages and dialects in total.[113][114]

Caste and community statistics as recorded from "Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Commission" (SEBC) or Mandal Commission of 1979. This was completed in 1983.

India is projected to overtake China as the world's most populous nation by 2027.[116] Note that these projections make assumptions about future fertility and death rates which may not turn out to be correct in the event. Fertility rates also vary from region to region, with some higher than the national average and some lower of China.

The national Census of India does not recognise racial or ethnic groups within India,[118] but recognises many of the tribal groups as Scheduled Castes and Tribes (see list of Scheduled Tribes in India).

According to a 2009 study published by Reich et al., the modern Indian population is composed of two genetically divergent and heterogeneous populations which mixed in ancient times (about 1,200–3,500 BP), known as Ancestral North Indians (ANI) and Ancestral South Indians (ASI). ASI corresponds to the Dravidian-speaking population of southern India, whereas ANI corresponds to the Indo-Aryan-speaking population of northern India.[119][120] 700,000 people from the United States of any race live in India.[16] Between 300,000 and 1 million Anglo-Indians live in India.[121]

For a list of ethnic groups in the Republic of India (as well as neighbouring countries) see ethnic groups of the Indian subcontinent.

Y-Chromosome DNA Y-DNA represents the male lineage, The Indian Y-chromosome pool may be summarised as follows where haplogroups R-M420, H, R2, L and NOP comprise generally more than 80% of the total chromosomes.[125]

Mitochondrial DNA mtDNA represents the female lineage. The Indian mitochondrial DNA is primarily made up of Haplogroup M[127]

Tripuri children preparing for a dance performance. The Tripuris are a Tibeto-Burman ethnic group.

Numerous genomic studies have been conducted in the last 15 years to seek insights into India's demographic and cultural diversity. These studies paint a complex and conflicting picture.