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Religious Diversity of India-A Study

Updated on July 4, 2015
The picture (containing names of 6 religions)  clearly shows the religious diversity and unity of India
The picture (containing names of 6 religions) clearly shows the religious diversity and unity of India

India is often described as 'Incredible India'. Why? The title 'incredible' is so apt. You would agree this when you did study something about India.

The culture, languages, climate, geography, everything is on a different scale on this land. It is more versatile and complex than that of a continent. On the religious zone India offers an unbelievable sketch, which you can't find anywhere in the world. With a population of more than 1.21 billion, of which nearly 1 billion Hindus, you may presume that this may be a Hindu land. No, you are wrong. Here lies some fascinating statistics and that is what I highlight here through this hub. Let's learn some amazing and amusing features of India's religious population.

Based on the latest Census taken in 2011, India has a total population of 1,210,193,422. It means India's population is above 1 billion. It is roughly 17.5% of the total world population. India stands second in population behind China.

Though in the global religious scenario, both Christians and Muslims stand top respectively, the case is different in India. Here the statistics show some interesting figures as follows:

(click column header to sort results)
19.2 million
7.3 million
4.2 million
7.9 million
7.3 million
Based on data of 2001 Census, The Census for 2011 will be released soon. On its publication I will update the data accordingly.

Please note that as India's population is about 1.21 billion, mere 1% itself will come about 12,101,934 or 12.1 million. So, my Christian brothers, you need not worry about your percentage of just 2.3%. If you translate into a mathematical figure, it would come about 27,834,449, i.e. 27.83 million! Amazing? Yes, this is the figure. This is the fact.

When compared with the Hindu population, this may be a small figure. But when you match these statistics with that of the European population, even this too is huge. Please know that this would come nearly 4% of the total European population. For your information, the Europe has a population of approximately 73.1 crores. What do we mean by crores? For us, one crore is equal to 100 lakhs. Again some have doubts. How much is lakhs? It is hundred thousand. So 1 crore means 10 million. Millions and billions are not our usual units for counting!

If you compare the population of Indian Christians with that of the North America, what you get is a figure of 5.27%. It means that the number of Indian Christians is equal to 5.27% of the total population of North America. (Please note that by North America what I mean is a continent, not a country like the USA alone).

India has 28 states. The Christians have their presence in almost all states. A major concentration of Christians is in South India. Kerala holds a healthy figure for Christianity. My hub Christianity in Kerala may be referred for further study.

What about Muslims

Here too India holds some great record. You may surprise when you come to know that India has the second largest population of Muslims in the world, the first one being Indonesia, another Asian country.

13.4% of India's population is Muslims. If you convert it into a figure, it is approximately 162,165,918. What a grand figure! The Muslims too have followers in almost the entire States and Union Territories of India.

Both Christians and Muslims here enjoy total freedom as India is a secular country. The Muslims feel more secured on this land than what they do in some of the so-called Islamic States in Asia and Africa. It would be amusing to note that both Christianity and Islam started in India first from Kerala and it spread to other regions of the country. Soon I will publish one hub on the Muslim invasion to India. Please bear with me till then.

Where can you witness a co-existence or living together of three religions, namely, Hindus, Muslims and Christians with such a harmony as in India? The communal tolerance is at its best in India, especially on the southern part of the country.

To add variety into the already complex nature of India's religious map, three more religions took its birth in India. Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism were formed and spread in India. Though India had a strong base of Buddhism, it slowly ruined and is now a very negligible fraction here. The religion spread to other countries in Asia from here. Now a large number of countries follow Buddhism. Still India is a sacred place for Buddhists all over the world as its root, the birth of Gautam Buddha, His preachings, some historical monuments related to the religion are all on this land.


Like Buddhism, Jainism also born in India. Certain things, we need to listen from the masters. So I leave my lecture on Jainism and take you directly to the hub History of Jainism published by my friend Mr Dilipchandra12 on HubPages. I also request you to read another hub written by my friend Jainismus titled Minority-Communities-in-India. Just clicking on the above links you can read it all. Thank you, friends, on your fine works on the topic.


The Sikh religion too has its birth place on Indian soil. 1.9% of the Indians are the followers of this religion. Its main presence is in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The Sikhs are also there in Canada, USA, England and Australia, most of them migrated seeking green pastures.

1.8% of the population belongs to "Others". It includes Jains, Jews, Zoroastrians, Parsis, etc. 0.1% of the population come in the "Unspecified" category. A very small fraction of Jews lives in India. Their invasion to India also started from Kerala a few centuries back according to the History text. Jews mainly live in Mattancherry (Kerala) and Mumbai.

It is true that the cultural, religious, geographical and historical features of India are more complex than that of a continent. The religious segment of the nation is so versatile and vibrant. Yet, the above plus one billion of Indians live jointly and peacefully. This is what the significance and message India can proudly show to the rest of the world with its unique slogan: Unity in Diversity!

Jai Hind! (Let India win).


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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      No doubt, we all are Indians.

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      danish 2 years ago

      we are indian

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      Nazeer Ruse valley 3 years ago

      //The religious segment of the nation is so versatile and vibrant. Yet, the above plus one billion of Indians live jointly and peacefully. This is what the significance and message India can proudly show to the rest of the world with its unique slogan: Unity in Diversity!// Well said Sunil Sir, Congratulations .. and thanks for this fantastic article

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)


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      BOSS 3 years ago