Assam and West Bengal have witnessed high growth rate of Muslim population while the proportion of Sikhs and Buddhists across the country declined and no significant change was witnessed in the case of Christians and Jains.
As per the 2011 Census, details of which were released yesterday, Hindu population counts for 96.63 crore (79.8 per cent), Muslim 17.22 crore (14.2 per cent), Christian, 2.78 crore (2.3 per cent), Sikh 2.08 crore (1.7 per cent), Buddhist 0.84 crore (0.7 per cent), Jain 0.45 crore (0.4 per cent), Other Religions and Persuasions (ORP) 0.79 crore (0.7 per cent), Religion Not Stated 0.29 crore (0.2 per cent).
In case of other religious minorities, the proportion of Sikh population declined by 0.2 percentage point (PP), Buddhist by 0.1 PP during the period between 2001 and 2011.
The most rapid rise in the share of Muslims in the total population was witnessed in Assam. Muslims constituted 30.9 per cent of the state’s population in 2001 and it has risen to 34.2 per cent a decade later.
Assam’s nine out of 27 districts are now Muslim majority. In 2001, only six districts were Muslim majority. Assam has been facing the problem of illegal immigration from Bangladeshi for last three decades.
West Bengal, another state where illegal immigration from Bangladesh has been an issue, has also seen a rise in Muslim population from 25.2 per cent in 2001 to 27 per cent in 2011. It is a growth of 1.8 percentage points, more than double the national average growth for Muslim population (0.8 per cent).
Among the states, Jammu and Kashmir has the highest proportion of Muslim population in the country with 85.6 lakh out of the total 1.25 crore population. Muslim population in Jammu and Kashmir has gone up to 68.3 per cent in 2011 from 67 per cent in 2001.
Uttarakhand has also seen rise in the share of Muslim population from 11.9 per cent to 13.9 per cent, a growth of 2 percentage points, between 2001 and 2011.
Other states with a significant rise in the share of Muslims in the total population as per the 2011 Census were Kerala (from 24.7 pc to 26.6 pc), Goa (6.8 pc to 8.4 pc), Haryana (5.8 pc to 7 pc) and Delhi (11.7 pc to 12.9 pc).
Among the Union Territories, Lakshadweep has the highest proportion of Muslim population — 96.2 per cent.