NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 24, 2015 (Indian Express): The share of Hindus in India’s population has shown the sharpest dip in a decade since Independence and has dropped below 80 per cent. According to figures of the religion census of 2011, yet to be officially released, Hindus comprised 78.35 per cent of the total population of 1.2 billion, compared with 80.45 per cent of the total population in 2001. In absolute terms, however, the Hindu population increased 14.5 per cent from 827 million to 950 million during the period (2001-11).
The 2011 religion census data also shows that the share of Muslims in the population has risen 8/10th of a percent from 13.4 per cent in 2001 to 14.2 per cent with some border states showing a high increase. This decadal increase in share, however, is lower than the 1.7 percentage points increase registered in the previous decade, 1991-2001.
The share of Hindus over the previous five decades — between 1951 i.e. post-partition and 2001 — dropped 3.65 percentage points from 84.1 per cent to 80.45 per cent of the total population. Again in absolute terms, the Hindu population more than doubled (172 per cent increase) from 300 million to 830 million during the 50 years till 2001. The drop in share of Hindus, due to a steady dip in the rate of growth of the Hindu population, comes on the back of rising education and income levels of the majority community.