A recent report released by Pew Survey centre about the religious composition of India has some interesting findings about the change in demography. Pew Research Center is a tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. They conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.
1- India’s overall population more than tripled between 1951 and 2011, though growth rates have slowed since the 1990s.
2- Hindus make up 79.8% of India’s population and Muslims account for 14.2%; Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains account for most of the remaining 6% – The shares of Indians in other religions held relatively steady. Muslims are growing somewhat faster than other groups because they tend to have more children.
3- Muslims in India have higher fertility rates than other groups, but they also have experienced the sharpest decline in fertility in recent decades – the fertility gap between Muslim and Hindu women in India shrank from 1.1 to 0.5 children.
4- In India, fertility is closely tied to women’s education, and Christian women are in school longer – Christians had an average of seven years of schooling, according to 2015 data, compared with 4.2 years among Hindus and 3.2 years among Muslims.
5- Migration has not greatly affected India’s religious composition – In 2019, the United Nations estimated that there were 5.2 million foreign-born people living in India, amounting to about 0.4% of India’s population that year. According to some news reports, there are many millions of people from
6- Muslim-majority countries living in India without legal status or documentation. But such high estimates have been put forth without supporting evidence and appear to be implausible based on a lack of corresponding outflows from origin countries and other indicators.
7- Religious switching, or conversion, appears to be rare in India.
8- India is home to about 94% of the world’s Hindus. Along with Nepal, it is one of only two Hindu-majority countries
9- Hindus are the majority in 28 of India’s 35 states, including the most populous ones: Uttar Pradesh (total population 200 million), Maharashtra (112 million) and Bihar (104 million) – Muslims are a majority in the small western archipelago of Lakshadweep (<100,000) and in Jammu and Kashmir (13 million), on the border with Pakistan. But only 5% of Muslims live in these two places; 95% live in states where they are a religious minority. Christians form a majority of the populations of Nagaland (2 million), Mizoram (1 million) and Meghalaya (3 million) – all small, sparsely populated states in India’s Northeastern panhandle bordering China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal. There is only one state in which a group other than Hindus, Muslims and Christians form a majority – Punjab.