India’s Hindu Population Drops for the First Time while Muslims are on the Rise
Census shows changing faith landscape in India; Hindus fall below 80% of the population for the first time since independence.
For the first time since it gained independence, the percentage of the Indian population that is Hindu dropped below 80%, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The 2011 census revealed that 79.79% of India’s population of 1.2 billion reports itself a Hindu, which is a drop from the 2001 figure of 80.46%.
The percentage of the population that is Muslim, on the other hand, grew from 13.42% to 14.23% over those same ten years.
While these small dips and rises may seem insignificant to most, in a country like India where political and religious tensions run high, reports such as these can lead to mayhem.
In fact, one politician suggested that Hindu families have more children to tip the scales, and others have accused Muslims of a “love Jihad” by trying to convert women to Islam.
And as Dilip D’Souza reports for scroll.in, statistics like these, especially with regards to Muslims and their perception as a violent and dangerous group, can lead to overreactions on social media.
Even though the Hindu population is declining, Hindus are not at risk of becoming extinct any time soon.
While there is growth in that direction, D’Souza points out that at this rate it would take 270 years just for Muslims to simply outnumber Hindus in India.
Also of interest, the number of people who said they have no religion increased four-fold.
D’Souza has his own analysis: That growth rates are starting to slow down in all demographics, and that will stabilize then shrink the population.