• What do we mean by Demography?
  • What data do we get from India Demographics?
  • Know the Demographics of India
  • Linguistic Demographics
  • Religions
  • A condensed 2011 Demographics of India
  • The Demographic Profile of India – 2012
  • The Indian Demographic Transition and Its Socio economic Effects

What do we mean by Demography?

The science of studying human population is termed as Demography. The spatio-temporal changes of a particular area is recorded and analyzed in Demographic studies. Demography helps in garnering information about different parameters of the population in that area.

What data do we get from India Demographics?

With a population surpassing 1.2 billion, India is ranked as the second most populated state in the world. Surpassing China may soon become a possibility in the near future at this rate of population explosion.

Know the Demographics of India

In spite of occupying 2.4 percent of the area in the world, India hosts 15% of the world population. Approximately 40% of the Indian population is below 15 years of age. Almost 70% of the population lives in the rural villages.  Other major dimensions of the Indian population are casteism, racial profiles and religion. Almost 80% of the Indian population practices Hinduism, the other minorities being Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Parsis, Ayyavazhi, Jains, Sikhs, Jews, and Bahá’ís.

Linguistic Demographics

In India there are 216 languages in usage. The most spoken language being Hindi is closely followed by Bengali. There are 22 official languages in the Schedule of the Indian Constitution.


The Constitution of India states India to be a secular country. Consequentially, there is no official religion of the nation. Hinduism being the most practiced religion occupies 80.5% of the national population. The other religions practiced in India are as follows –

  • Muslim 13.4%
  • Christian 2.3%
  • Sikh 1.8%
  • Buddhists 0.8%
  • Jains 0.4%
  • others 0.7% and
  • unspecified 0.1%

A condensed 2011 Demographics of India

Costing the state exchequer 22,000 million rupees, the 15th National Census of India had to be conducted in two phases for operational ease. The first phase was carried out from April-September, 2010, and the second phase February 2011. The literacy rate of the nation, after the conduct of the National Census 2011, stood at 74%. Surpassing the 70% mark was considered to be one of the milestones achieved by the nation. The most populous states of India are Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, which when put together comprises the population of the United State of America.

The Demographic Profile of India – 2012

1. Population

1,189,172,906 (July 2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 29.7% (male 187,450,635/female 165,415,758)
15-64 years: 64.9% (male 398,757,331/female 372,719,379)
65 years and over: 5.5% (male 30,831,190/female 33,998,613) (2011 est.)

Median age

Total: 26.2 years; male: 25.6 years; female: 26.9 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate – 1.344% (2011 est.)

Birth rate – 20.97 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death rate – 7.48 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net migration rate – -0.05 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Urbanization – Urban population: 30% of total population (2010) rate of urbanization: 2.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 47.57 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 46.18 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 66.8 years
male: 65.77 years
female: 67.95 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate – 2.62 children born/woman (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate – 0.3% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS – 2.4 million (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS – deaths – 170,000 (2009 est.)

2. Nationality

Noun: Indian(s), Adjective: Indian

Ethnic groups

Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)

3. Religions

Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)

4. Languages

Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%

5. Literacy

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61%

male: 73.4%
female: 47.8% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

Total: 10 years
Male: 11 years
Female: 10 years (2007)

Education expenditures – 3.1% of GDP (2006)

6. Health

Maternal mortality rate – 230 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight – 43.5% (2006)

Health expenditures – 2.4% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density – 0.599 physicians/1,000 population (2005)

Hospital bed density – 0.9 beds/1,000 population (2005)

The Indian Demographic Transition and Its Socio economic Effects

Along with the economic progress of the nation, demographic transition has also taken place hand in hand. The nation has transitioned to low birthrate and low death rate owing to the rapid advancements in technology and medical sciences. This statement has been further vindicated by the research paper of Chanana and Talwar (1987). The transitioning demography of India can be characterized as follows –

  • Population over 60 years has accelerated.
  • Productive population i.e. 15 to 64 years has further increased.
  • Women population aged 70 years and over has increased substantially.
  • A major chunk of the adult population is single owing to the demise of their spouse.
  • Illiteracy is more prevalent among the elderly than the younger population.

All these features have several socio-economic consequences:

  • The joint-family system is slowly and steadily disintegrating.
  • Since the aging population is illiterate, they are still economically active owing to their poor economic condition, without any specific retirement age.