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India, known for its rich cultural heritage and diversity, is home to a vast population practicing various religions. The religious landscape of India is characterized by a multitude of faiths, each contributing to the country’s vibrant tapestry. Understanding the religious demographics of India is crucial to comprehend the country’s pluralistic nature. In this article, we will explore the religious population of India and delve into key insights and statistics from the Census of India 2011.
|Other religions and persuasions
|Religion not stated
Hindu Population in India
Hinduism, the predominant religion in India, holds a significant presence in the country. According to the Census of India 2011, the Hindu population in India stands at 966,257,353, accounting for approximately 79.9% of the total population.
Muslim Population in India
Islam, the second-largest religion globally, has a considerable presence in India as well. The Census of India 2011 estimates the Muslim population in India to be around 172,245,158, comprising approximately 14.2% of the total population.
Christian Population in India
Christianity, introduced to India through colonial influences and missionary efforts, has gained a substantial following over the centuries. The Census of India 2011 estimates the Christian population in India to be approximately 27,819,588, representing around 2.3% of the total population.
Sikh Population in India
Sikhism, a monotheistic religion founded in the Punjab region, is another prominent faith in India. The Census of India 2011 estimates the Sikh population in India to be around 20,833,116, accounting for approximately 1.7% of the total population.
Buddhist Population in India
Buddhism, with its origins in ancient India, has followers across different regions of the country. The Census of India 2011 estimates the Buddhist population in India to be approximately 8,442,972, comprising around 0.7% of the total population.
Jain Population in India
Jainism, an ancient Indian religion emphasizing non-violence, truth, and non-attachment, has a dedicated following in the country. The Census of India 2011 estimates the Jain population in India to be around 4,451,753, representing approximately 0.4% of the total population.
Other Religions and Persuasions
India is also home to various other religions and persuasions, each with its unique traditions and followers. The Census of India 2011 estimates the population following these diverse beliefs to be approximately 7,937,734, comprising around 0.7% of the total population.
Religion Not Stated
A portion of the population has not stated their religious affiliation or it is unknown. The Census of India 2011 estimates the number of individuals in this category to be approximately 2,867,303, accounting for around 0.2% of the total population.
Sex Ratio of Religious Communities
Sex ratio which is the number of females per one thousand males is 933 for all the religious groups at the national level. Hindus and Sikhs are below the national average while the rest are above the average. The highest sex ratio is seen among Christians with 1009 females while the lowest is among Sikhs (893). Constituting the largest segment of the population, the Hindus have a sex ratio of 931 while Muslims,
the second largest religious community have 936.
Child Population (0-6) among religions
Proportion of population in the age group 0-6 to total population offers a general picture of the relative fertility status among the religious groups, a higher proportion meaning a higher fertility. While the proportion for all-India is 15.9 percent, five religious communities, namely, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains exhibit rates lower than the national average, the lowest being 10.6 per cent for the Jains. Proportion of 0-6 population for the Sikhs (12.8 per cent) is also lower
than the national average by more than 3 percent. Hindus have 15.6 per cent. On the other hand, Muslims have the highest proportion of 18.7 per cent while other religious groups have a rate of 18 per cent.
The child sex ratio which is 927 for all India is lower than that of the total
population by 6 per cent. The decline in the child sex ratio in 2001 Census is a major cause of worry among the planners, demographers and researchers. Lower sex ratio among children is indicative of more females than males among child population which may lead to demographic imbalance over time if the trend continues in future. Sex ratio among
Sikhs (786) in 0-6 population is the lowest among the major religions groups. Among Jains also the ratio is only 870 which is 57 points below the national average of 927. The child sex ratio among Hindus is 925. Other religious communities with sex ratios higher than the national average include Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and other religions, the highest being recorded against Other religions with sex ratio of 976. The sex ratio of the Christians with 964 females per 1000 males comes next. The next highest ratio is found among Muslims with 950. Muslims are also the only major religious group having a child sex
ratio higher than that of the total population of the religious group.
Literacy rate by religious communities
The rate of literacy of the population computed for 2001 Census after
excluding the population less than 7 years of age is found to be 64.8 per cent for the whole country, male literacy percentage being 75.3 per cent while the percentage for female being 53.7 per cent. Except Muslims and other religions, all the rest of the major religions have literacy rates higher than the national average.
Jains have the highest total literacy rate of 94.1 per cent followed by Christians with 80.3 per cent.
Buddhists with 72.7 per cent occupy the third position. The lowest total literacy rate of 47 per cent is found among other religions. Hindus have a total literacy rate of 65.1 per cent which is slightly above the national average while Muslims have a total literacy rate of 59.1 per cent, below the national average.
The pattern of the total literacy rates emerged among the major religious
communities is followed in general among males and females also. Jains have the highest literacy rates for both males (97.4 per cent) and females (90.6 per cent). In the second place Christians have 84.4 per cent for males and 76.2 per cent for females.
While for males, Buddhists (83.1 per cent) occupy the third position, for
females the position has gone to Sikhs (63.1 per cent). In the case of the Hindus, the male literacy rate (76.2 per cent) is above the national
average of 75.3 per cent whereas the female literacy rate (53.2 per
cent) is slightly below the national average of 53.7 per cent.
The gap of male-female literacy rates is the lowest among Jains which is only 6.8 per cent points against the national gender literacy gap of 21.6 per cent points.
Among Christians also the gap is as low as 8.2 per cent points. The biggest gap is found against other religions (27.6 per cent points) followed by Hindus (23 per cent points) and Buddhists (21.4 per cent points).
|Name of Religion
|Literacy Rate (Total)
|Literacy Rate (Males)
|Literacy Rate (Females)
Religious Diversity in India
India’s religious population is diverse, reflecting the country’s rich heritage and pluralistic ethos. The presence of major religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism, along with other religious communities, contributes to the cultural tapestry of the nation.
What is the main religion in India?
The main religion in India is Hinduism, which has the largest following among the population.
What is the percentage of Hindus in India?
As per the latest census 2011 data, Hindus make up approximately 79.9% of the total population in India.
What is the second-largest religion in India?
Islam is the second-largest religion in India, with a significant number of followers.
What is the percentage of Muslims in India?
Islam is the second-largest religion in India, with a significant number of followers.
How many Christians are there in India?
The estimated Christian population in India is around 2.3% of the total population.
What is the population of Sikhs in India?
The Sikh population in India is estimated to be approximately 1.7% of the total population.
Are there Buddhists in India?
Yes, Buddhism originated in India, and there is a Buddhist population of about 0.7% in the country.
How many Jains are there in India?
The Jain population in India is estimated to be around 0.4% of the total population.
Are there religious minorities in India?
Yes, India has significant religious minorities, including Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others.
What are the top 3 religion population In India?
- Hinduism: With a population of approximately 966,257,353, Hindus constitute the majority and the largest religious group in India.
- Islam: Muslims make up the second-largest religious community in India, with a population of around 172,245,158.
- Christianity: Christianity has a significant following in India, with an estimated population of about 27,819,588.
These three religions have the highest populations among the diverse religious communities in India.