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ASSIGNMENT ON DEMOGRAPHIC CENSUS DATA ON

RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

JUPI BHUYAN
1424512
4MSOC

Census 2011 data on Population by Religious Communities


Religious profile of the population is an important socio-cultural and demographic feature
noticeable from the first Census in 1872 till now. The data of religions or any religious groups
for which information was collected had some variations in the pre-Independence period. But
after Independence, it shows different scene all together particularly since in 1961 there has been
some uniformity in the collection and the generation of the religious data. Besides the six major
religions, i.e Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh, census also collected data on
other religious faiths and denominations.
Some of the religious faiths and persuasions are variants or varied manifestation of the major
religious groups. The huge list of these other religions were checked again, edited, classified and
processed to get the precise picture of the data.
In the past information on religion as provided in Census was very limited but in the last Census
2001, a number of cross-tabulations were made available. The data showing distribution of
religious groups in 2001 provide is available at State and district levels down to sub-divisions
and towns. Cross-tabulation of different religious groups by literacy, classification of workers
and non-workers provided new insights. These are additional information compared to those
published data of past Censuses.
Indias Muslim population grows slower than it had in the previous decades, its growth rate has
slowed more sharply than the Hindu population. The decadal Muslim rate of growth is the lowest
it has ever been in Indias history, as it is for all religions. The Muslim population is still growing
at a faster rate than the Hindu population, but the gap between the two growth rates is narrowing
fast.
India in numbers
India now has 966.3 million Hindus, who make up 79.8 per cent of its population, and 172.2
million Muslims, who make up 14.23 per cent. Among the other minorities, Christians makes up
to 2.3 per cent of the population and Sikhs 1.72 per cent.
The Registrar-General and Census Commissioner released the data on Population by Religious
Communities of Census 2011 on Tuesday evening.
The distribution of data is of the total population by six major religious communities - Hindu,
Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain, besides Other religions and persuasions and
Religion not stated.

Up to the levels of sub-districts and towns, the data are released by sex and residence.
As it has been a case since Independence, the rate of increase of the Muslim population is
higher than that of the Hindu population as a result of higher Muslim fertility than Hindu
fertility, higher child mortality among Hindus and all the more a greater life expectancy among
Muslims, demographers say. However, Muslim fertility rates in India are falling faster than
among Hindus, Pew Researchs Future of World Religions report showed recently, and the
Muslim community is expected to reach replacement levels of fertility by 2050.
Muslim sex ratio improves further
The data on Population by Religious Communities of Census 2011 shows that between 2001
and 2011, Hindu population grew by 16.76 per cent, while that of Muslims by 24.6 per cent. The
population of both communities Hindu and Muslim grew faster during the previous decade, at
19.92 per cent and 29.52 per cent, respectively. Demographers says, as a long-term trend the
communities growth rates are converging.
This is completely along expected lines, and has been an ongoing process, P. Arokiasamy,
demographer and Professor at the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, told
The Hindu. With rising education and changing family expectations, declining fertility is an
expected demographic phenomenon. It begins among the better educated groups with better
access to health care as in Indias southern States and then other groups catch up and converge,
Dr. Arokiasamy explained. In Kerala, for an example, the Muslim fertility rate (while higher than
among the Hindus) is extremely low, especially compared to all communities in the northern
States, he said.
The numbers show that the sex ratio among Muslims, already better than among Hindus, has
improved further.
The sex ratio among Muslims now stands at 951 females for every 1,000 males, substantially
better than 936 in 2001, while among Hindus, it is 939 females for every 1,000 males, an
improvement seen over the 2001 value of 931. Jammu and Kashmir remains the State with the
largest Muslim population as a proportion (68.31 per cent) and saw the largest increase in the
Muslim proportion between 2001 and 2011, followed by Uttarakhand and Kerala.
Religion

Numbers (Per cent of the population)

Hindu

96.63 crore (79.8 %)

Muslim

17.22 crore (14.2%)

Christian

2.78 crore (2.3%)

Sikh

2.08 crore (1.7%)

Buddhist

0.84 crore (0.7%)

Jain

0.45 crore (0.4%)

Other Religions & Persuasions (ORP)

0.79 crore (0.7%)

Religion Not Stated

0.29 crore (0.2%)

Growth rate
The growth rate of population in the decade 2001-2011 was 17.7%. The growth rate of
population of the different religious communities in the same period was:
Religion

Growth

Hindu

16.8%

Muslim

24.6%

Christian

15.5%

Sikh

8.4%

Buddhist

6.1%

Jain

5.4%

The Census data on religion comes after a significant delay; the 2001 Census data on religion
was released in 2004 and the 2011 round results were expected in 2014. However, the numbers
remained unreleased, even as a draft of the key data was selectively leaked earlier. The data
comes in the backdrop of much fear mongering over the Muslims and their population, and RSS
thinkers were quick to term the new data as proof of the end of Hindus, even while the numbers
believe their claim.