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Religious conversion has little impact on India’s population: Study

Likewise, migration is also found to be having minimal impact on population of India, though the country had seen its huge impact immediately after the partition

Tuesday September 21, 2021 8:33 PM, ummid.com News Network

India Population Survey

Mumbai: Amidst the hullabaloo by the right wing Hinutva groups, who at times receive support from the present dispensation, a new study has revealed that religious conversion has a very minimal impact on the overall population of India.

“Religious switching, or conversion – when an individual leaves one religion for another or stops affiliating with any religion – also appears to have had a relatively small impact on India’s overall composition, with 98% of Indian adults still identifying with the religion in which they were raised”, a latest study by Washington based Pew Research Forum said.

Likewise, migration is also found to be having minimal impact on population of India, though the country had seen its huge impact immediately after the partition.

“Migration is one of three main mechanisms, along with fertility and conversion, that cause religious groups to shrink or expand. But since the 1950s, migration has had only a modest impact on India’s religious composition. More than 99% of people who live in India were also born in India. Migrants leaving India outnumber immigrants three-to-one, and religious minorities are more likely than Hindus to leave”, the study revealed.


"India’s fertility rate"

The study further found that India’s fertility rate has been declining rapidly in recent decades.

“Today, the average Indian woman is expected to have 2.2 children in her lifetime, a fertility rate that is higher than rates in many economically advanced countries like the United States (1.6) but much lower than India’s in 1992 (3.4) or 1950 (5.9)”, the study said.

“Every religious group in the country has seen its fertility fall, including the majority Hindu population and Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain minority groups. Among Indian Muslims, for example, the total fertility rate has declined dramatically, from 4.4 children per woman in 1992 to 2.6 children in 2015”, the study revealed citing the most recent year for which religion data is available from India’s National Family Health Survey.

"India's population to surpass that of China by 2030"

The survey also found that India could soon become world’s most populous country leaving behind China.

"India’s population has more than tripled in the six decades following the Partition of 1947, from 361 million (36.1 crore) people in the 1951 census to more than 1.2 billion (120 crore) in 2011. As of 2020, India is gaining roughly 1 million (10 lakh) inhabitants each month, putting it on course to surpass China as the world’s most populous country by 2030", the survey said.

Regarding the population growth of different religious groups, the survey found population of Muslims grew by 4.4 percent while that of Hindus declined by 4.3 percent in the last 60 years.

"Though religious groups grew at uneven rates between 1951 and 2011, every major religion in India saw its numbers rise, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. For example, Hindus increased from 304 million (30.4 crore) to 966 million (96.6 crore), Muslims grew from 35 million (3.5 crore) to 172 million (17.2 crore), and the number of Indians who say they are Christian rose from 8 million (0.8 crore) to 28 million (2.8 crore)", Pew Research Forum said in its latest study.

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