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A small change in religious make up of Indian as 70 years passed

Religious make up of Indian

A study by the Pew Research Center found that there have been only “minor changes” in people’s religious make up since 1951, because all religious groups in India have seen a sharp decline in fertility rates.

Hindus make up about 80 per cent of India’s 1.2 billion population.

The two major groups, Hindus and Muslims, make up 94% of India’s 1.2 billion population.

Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains together make up the remaining 6% of the population.

Based on data available from India’s Annual Census and the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the Pew study examines how the country’s religious make up (structure) has changed, and the root causes of the change.

Religious make up of India
Religious make up of India

After the partition of a colonial state into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan in 1947, India’s population has tripled. , And the last one was done in 2011.)

During this period, every major religion in India saw an increase in its number, the study found.

The number of Hindus has increased from 304 million to 966 million. Muslims increased from 35 million to 172 million. And the number of Indians who say they are Christians has increased from 8 million to 28 million.

India is one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, second only to Indonesia.

Religious make up of Indian

In the 2021 census, Hindus make up 79.8% of India’s 1.2 billion people. 94% of the world’s Hindus live in India.
14.2% of Indians are Muslims. India is one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, surpassed only by Indonesia.
Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains together make up 6% of the population.
Only 30,000 Indians declared themselves atheists in 2011.
About 88 million people said they did not belong to any of the six major groups.
There were 83 small religious groups, each with at least 100 followers.
India receives about 11 million inhabitants every month, surpassing China as the world’s most populous country by 2030.

(Source: 2011 census, Pew Research Center)

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Muslims still have the highest fertility rate among major religious groups (2.6 children per woman in 2015), followed by Hindus (2.1). Genes have the lowest fertility rate at 1.2.

The study says the general pattern is largely the same as it was in 1992, when Muslims had the highest fertility rates (4.4), followed by Hindus (3.3).

“But the difference in fertility between religious groups in India is generally much smaller than before,” the study said.

And the slowdown in population growth has been more pronounced among India’s minority groups, which outperformed Hindus in the early decades.

According to Stephenie Kramer, a senior Pew researcher who specializes in religion, there is a significant decrease in the fertility of two children under the age of 25 in one generation.

As the number of Indian women having children dropped from an average of 3.4 per woman to 2.2 in 2015 in the early 1990s, the rate among Muslims fell sharply from 4.4 to more than 2.6.

Over a period of 60 years, the share of Muslims in the population of India increased by 4%, while the share of Hindus decreased by almost the same. The other groups were quite stable. religious make up

“The small amount of demographic change can be explained by the fact that Muslim women have had, on average, more children than any other Indian woman, at least recently,” Ms Kramer told the BBC.

The study says family size is influenced by a number of factors, making it “impossible to say how much religious affiliation alone affects fertility”. Unlike many countries, the effects of migration or religious conversion on demographic change in India are “negligible”. religious make up

Religious make up of India
Religious make up of India

Fertility has so far been the “biggest driver” of small amounts of religious conversion in India.

Population growth was also due to the fact that more women in low-population groups “enter their first childbearing years and as a result grow faster than the larger population.” By 2020, the study says, the average age of Hindus is 29, 24 for Muslims and 31 for Christians. religious make up

Other drivers of population growth in India include the level of education of women (highly educated women often marry later and have their first child later than less educated women) and wealth (higher among poor women). There are children so that they can contribute to household chores (income).

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These results are not entirely surprising as India’s overall fertility rate has been declining rapidly in recent decades. religious make up

This is higher than rates in countries like USA (1.6), but lower than in India in 1992 (3.4) or 1950 (5.9).

An interesting point of the study is that only a few Indians do not claim membership in any religious group. Globally, “no one” is the third most common religious affiliation – after Christian and Muslim.

“That’s why it’s interesting to see that in such a large country, unrelated people are hardly represented,” said Ms Kramer. religious make up

Also, many religious groups are concentrated in India “extraordinarily”: 94% of all Hindus live there, as well as the majority of all Jains and more than 90% Sikhs. Most Sikhs in the world live in the Indian state of Punjab. religious make up

Compare that to China, which has a large population, half the world’s Buddhists and the most irrelevant people, but “nothing like 90% of any major religious group.” religious make up

“There really is no country with a religious landscape like India,” says Ms Kramer. religious make up.

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