Trade Union Forum


General overview

According to the UN Population Division, India has a population of 1,394,086,000 people. India is the second-most populous, with 17.71% of the total world's population. It is believed that by the end of 2021 the population in India will increase by 17,000,000 people. The country has a natural increase in population.

The sex ratio is 1.07. The male population constitutes 51.64% (719,000,000 people) of the total population, and female population constitutes 48.36% (674,000,000 people). The average life expectancy is 65 years for males and 68 for females.

In the beginning of 2021, the population was divided into the following age groups:

  • under 15 (29.7 %);
  • from 15 to 65 (64.9%);
  • over 64 (5.5%).

Racial composition and religion

Racial composition

Modern India is a multi-ethnic country, inhabited by peoples of different appearances, languages, and customs. Most of the population (70%) lives in rural areas and adheres to the old caste system. The largest peoples of India are:

  • Hindustani (Hind) is the most numerous group in India; the Indo-Aryan people of Northern India; speaks Hindi and its dialects (Khariboli, Haryanvi, Braj, Kannauji, Bundeli, Awadhi, Bagheli, and Chhattisgarhi); the total population of speakers is about 500 million people (est. 2016).
  • Bengali people is one of the most numerous group in the world. In total, there are 250,000,000 people, and 100,000,000 of them live in India and speak the Bengali language (Indo-European family).
  • Jat people is one of the oldest with a population of 85,000,000 people; believes in Sikhism.
  • Marathi people lives in Maharashtra, speaks the Marathi language, and believes mostly in Hinduism; approximate population is 80,000,000 people.
  • Telugu people consists of about 75,000,0000 members who speak the Telugu language (Dravidian family); the majority of them live in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Tamil people lives in South Asia, and 63,000,000 of it live in India, Tamil Nadu state; they speak the Tamil language, which plays an important role in the national identity.
  • Gujarati people is Indo-Aryan; has a population of 45,000,000 people in India; inhabits the western part of the country. There is a big Gujarati diaspora in the United Kingdom.
  • The Kannada people lives in southern India; the total population is 36,000,000 people. The Kannada language also belongs to the Dravidian family.
  • Punjabi people is the main population of Punjab. Most of them, 70,000,000 people, live in Pakistan, somewhat about 30,000,000 people live in India, and there are diasporas in the USA, Canada, and the UK. In Pakistan, they are usually Muslims, and in India – Hindus or Sikhs. In comparison with their neighbors, they are much more literate.


India is a secular state. The largest religions are:

  • Hinduism (80% of the population).
  • Islam (14% of the population), popular in the northern regions and regions near the India-Pakistan border.

Hinduism and Islam are followed by:

- Christianity (2.5–3%);

- Sikhism (2%);

- Buddhism (1%).

Official language

According to the Constitution of India, the official languages are Hindi (spoken by 40% of the population), and English. Indo-European languages are the most spoken in the country. In total, there are more than 400 languages and 2,000 dialects in India, the vast majority of the population speaks 12 official languages. Each of these languages has more than 10,000,000 native speakers. Books are printed in official languages. Local self-government is carried out in these languages in corresponding areas.

The most common official languages of India are:

  • Bengali (250,000,000 speakers)
  • Telugu (80,000,000 speakers)
  • Marathi (70,000,000 speakers)
  • Tamil (approximately 70,000,000 speakers)