India Demographics

What is the population of India?

Population 1,326,093,247
Population Growth Rate 1.28%
Urban Population 31.3%
Population in Major Urban Areas NEW DELHI (capital) 22.654 million; Mumbai 19.744 million; Kolkata 14.402 million; Chennai 8.784 million; Bangalore 8.614 million; Hyderabad 7.837 million
Nationality Noun Indian(s)
Nationality Adjective Indian
Ethnic Groups Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%
Languages Spoken Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%

note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language
Language Note There are at least 300 known languages in India, 24 of which have one million or more speakers. Besides Hindi and English, there are 14 other official languages, including Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, and Sanskrit. At least 30 percent of the population speaks Hindi. English is important for business and government and is the language of national communication. Hindustani, a blend of Hindu and Urdu, is spoken widely in northern India.

India Health Information

What are the health conditions in India?

Animal Contact Disease (s) rabies
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 15-49 54.8%
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 7.39
Diseases - note highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 90.7%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 7.4%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 96.7%
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 3.9%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.3%
HIV/Aids Deaths 135,500
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .9
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 46.08
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 43.28
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 44.6
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 200
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 19.9
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 1.9%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 2,400,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .65
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 64%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 60.2%
Sanitation Facitlity Access - percent of rural population improved 24.7%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 2.55
Underweight - percent of children under five years 43.5%
Vectorborne Disease (s) dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
Water contact disease (s) leptospirosis

India Life Expectancy

How long do people live in India?

Life Expectancy at Birth 67 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 68 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 66 Years
Median Age 26 Years
Median Age - female 27 Years
Median Age - male 26 Years

India Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

India median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 20
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 7.39
Median Age 26 Years
Median Age - female 27 Years
Median Age - male 26 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.05
Population Growth Rate 1.28%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.13
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.13
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female 1.08
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.12
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female 1.08
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .91

India Medical Information

What are the health conditions in India?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

The quality of medical care in India varies considerably. Medical care in the major population centers approaches and occasionally meets Western standards, but adequate medical care is usually very limited or unavailable in rural areas.

If you are arriving in India from Sub-Saharan Africa or other yellow-fever areas, Indian health regulations require that you present evidence of vaccination against yellow fever. If you do not have such proof, you could be subjected to immediate deportation or a six-day detention in the yellow-fever quarantine center. If you transit through any part of sub-Saharan Africa, even for one day, you are advised to carry proof of yellow fever immunization.

Good information on vaccinations and other health precautions is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or by calling the hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747). Some vaccines such as Typhoid, Influenza, and Hepatitis A are recommended for all travelers and other vaccines such as Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, and Rabies are recommended for high-risk travelers.

A high risk of rabies transmission exists in most of India with dogs and bats posing the most common threat. Vaccination is recommended for all prolonged stays with a priority for young children and travelers in rural areas. It is also recommended for shorter stays that involve occupational exposure; locations more than 24 hours' travel from a reliable source of human rabies immune globulin and rabies vaccine for post-exposure treatment; adventure travelers, hikers, cave explorers, and backpackers. Monkeys also can transmit rabies and herpes B, among other diseases, to human victims. Avoid feeding monkeys. If bitten, you should immediately soak and scrub the bite for at least 15 minutes and seek urgent medical attention.

Influenza is transmitted from November to April in areas north of the Tropic of Cancer, and from June through November (the rainy season) in areas south of the Tropic of Cancer, with a smaller peak from February through April; off-season transmission can also occur. All travelers are at increased risk. Influenza vaccine is recommended for all travelers during the flu season.

Outbreaks of Avian Influenza (H5N1 virus) occur intermittently in eastern India, including West Bengal, Manipur, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, and Assam. For further information on avian influenza (bird flu), please refer to the Department of State's Avian Influenza Fact Sheet.

Malaria prophylaxis depends on time of year and area the traveler is visiting. Please consult the CDC website for more information. Dengue fever presents significant risk in urban and rural areas. The highest number of cases is reported from July to December, with cases peaking from September to October. Daytime insect precautions are recommended.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information. These websites provide useful information, such as suggested vaccinations for visitors to India, safe food and water precautions, appropriate measures to avoid contraction of mosquito-borne diseases (such as malaria and Japanese B encephalitis), suggestions to avoid altitude sickness, etc. Further, these sites provide information on disease outbreaks that may arise from time to time. Outbreaks of mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya occur in various parts of India each year. You should check these sites shortly before traveling to India. Further health information for travelers is available from the WHO.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in India. For further information, please consult the CDC’s Travel Notice on TB.

For emergency services, dial 112 from a cell phone; from a land line, dial 100 for police, 102 for ambulance (108 in parts of South India), and 101 for fire. Ambulances are not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, and traffic does not yield to emergency vehicles. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance. Most hospitals require advance payment or confirmation of insurance prior to treatment. Payment practices vary and credit cards are not routinely accepted for medical care.

Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. Companies offering vacation packages bundled with medical consultations and financing options provide direct-to-consumer advertising over the internet. Such medical packages often claim to provide high quality care, but the quality of health care in India is highly variable. People seeking health care in India should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and refer to the information from the CDC. Persons traveling to India for medical purposes require the proper “medical” visa. Please check with the nearest Indian Embassy or consulate for more information.

Despite reports of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals, in general travelers should not delay or avoid treatment for urgent or emergent medical situations. However, health tourists and other travelers who may be contemplating elective procedures in this country should carefully research individual hospital infection control practices.

Rh-negative blood may be difficult to obtain as it is not common in Asia.

Commercial surrogacy, a growing industry in India, remains unregulated, operating solely under non-binding government guidelines. There are concerns that the interests and rights of commissioning parents, surrogates, egg donors, and the resulting children may not always be adequately protected.

In order for a child born of surrogacy to acquire U.S. citizenship and obtain a U.S. passport, sufficient proof must be submitted showing a genetic relationship between the newborn child and a U.S.-citizen parent. This is best accomplished through DNA testing. Newborns found not to have acquired U.S. citizenship at birth risk being stateless persons unable to obtain travel documents as Indian law prohibits the issuance of Indian passports to children born of surrogacy. With no right to other citizenship, infants may find themselves stranded in India.

If you are considering traveling to India for assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, please contact the Embassy or one of the Consulates General well in advance and review the available information to learn if your child born from ART could be documented as a U.S. citizen.

After the birth of your child, you should count on staying in India at least two weeks to complete the Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen (CRBA) and passport application and to obtain an Indian exit visa.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in India maintain lists of local doctors and hospitals, all of which are published on their respective websites under "U.S. Citizen Services." We cannot endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

India Education

What is school like in India?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 3.2%
Literacy - female 47.8%
Literacy - male 73.4%
Literacy - total population 61%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 11 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 12 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 12 Years

India Literacy

Can people in India read?

Literacy - female 47.8%
Literacy - male 73.4%
Literacy - total population 61%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9%

note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language

India Crime

Is India a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Petty crime, especially theft of personal property (including U.S. passports), is common, particularly on trains or buses, at airports, and in major tourist areas. Pickpockets can be very adept and women have reported having their bags snatched, purse-straps cut, or the bottom of their purses slit without their knowledge. If you are traveling by train, lock your sleeping compartments and take your valuables with you when leaving your berth. If you travel by air, be careful with your bags in the arrival and departure areas outside airports. Violent crime, especially directed against foreigners, has traditionally been uncommon, although in recent years there has been a modest increase. Be cautious about displaying cash or expensive items to reduce the chance of being a target for robbery or other crime, and be aware of your surroundings when you use ATMs. ATM card scams have been used to clone credit card details to withdraw money. Gangs and criminal elements operate in major cities and have sometimes targeted unsuspecting business travelers and their family members for kidnapping or extortion.

Sexual Assault: Travelers should be aware that there have been reported cases of sexual assault, including rape, of U.S. citizens traveling throughout India. U.S. citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India. Western women, especially those of African descent, continue to report incidents of verbal and physical harassment by groups of men. Known locally as “Eve-teasing,” these incidents of sexual harassment can be quite frightening. Sexual harassment can occur anytime or anywhere, but most frequently has happened in crowded areas such as in market places, train stations, buses, and public streets. The harassment can range from sexually suggestive or lewd comments to catcalls to outright groping. If you are a woman traveling in India, you are advised to respect local dress and customs. While reported incidences of sexual assault have been isolated, Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Among large cities, Delhi experienced the highest number of crimes against women. Although most victims have been local residents, recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas underline the fact that foreign women are at risk and should exercise vigilance.

Women should observe stringent security precautions, including avoiding use of public transport after dark without the company of known and trustworthy companions, restricting evening entertainment to well-known venues, and avoiding isolated areas when alone at any time of day. If you are a woman traveling in India, you are advised to respect conservative local dress and customs. Keep your hotel room number confidential and make sure hotel room doors have chains, deadlocks, and spy-holes. In addition, only hire reliable cars and drivers and avoid traveling alone in hired taxis, especially at night. Use taxis from hotels and pre-paid taxis at airports rather than hailing them on the street. If you encounter threatening situations, call “100” for police assistance (“112” from mobile phones).

Scams: Major airports, train stations, popular restaurants, and tourist sites are often used by scam artists looking to prey on visitors, often by creating a distraction. Beware of taxi drivers and others, including train porters, who solicit travelers with "come-on" offers of cheap transportation and/or hotels. Travelers accepting such offers have frequently found themselves the victims of scams, including offers to assist with "necessary" transfers to the domestic airport, disproportionately expensive hotel rooms, unwanted "tours," unwelcome "purchases," extended cab rides, substandard hotel rooms at overly expensive rates and even threats when the tourists decline to pay. There have been reports of tourists being lured, held hostage and extorted for money in the face of threats of violence against the traveler and his/her familymembers.

You should exercise care when hiring transportation and/or guides and use only well-known travel agents to book trips. Some scam artists have lured travelers by displaying their name on a sign when they leave the airport. Another popular scam is to drop money or to squirt something on the clothing of an unsuspecting traveler and use the distraction to rob them of their valuables. Tourists have also been given drugged drinks or tainted food to make them more vulnerable to theft, particularly at train stations. Even food or drink purchased in front of the traveler from a canteen or vendor could be tainted.

Some vendors sell carpets, jewelry, gemstones, or other expensive items that may not be of the quality promised. Deal only with reputable businesses and do not hand over your credit cards or money unless you are certain that goods being shipped are the goods you purchased. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is best avoided. Most Indian states have official tourism bureaus set up to handle complaints.

There have been a number of other scams perpetrated against foreign travelers, particularly in Goa, Jaipur, and Agra that target younger travelers and involve suggestions that money can be made by privately transporting gems or gold (both of which can result in arrest) or by taking delivery abroad of expensive carpets, supposedly while avoiding customs duties. The scam artists describe profits that can be made upon delivery of the goods, and require the traveler to pay a "deposit" as part of the transaction.

Cyber crime is on the rise in India. Over 1,200 phishing attacks every month makes India the fifth most targeted country. The city of Bangalore alone has recorded a significant statistical increase in the past four years.

U.S. citizens have had problems with business partners, usually involving property investments. You may wish to seek professional legal advice in reviewing any contracts for business or services offered in India. A list of attorneys is available on the Embassy and Consulates General websites.

In another common scam, family members in the United States, particularly older people, are approached for funds to help callers claiming to be grandchildren or relatives who have been arrested or are without money to return home. Do not send money without contacting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General to confirm the caller’s situation. You can also call our Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444). Review our information on Emergency Assistance to Americans Abroad.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

India Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in another country, you are subject to its laws even though you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence of alcohol could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. If you do something illegal in your host country, your U.S. passport won’t help. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not where you are going. It is also important to note that there are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. For example, you can be prosecuted in the United States if you buy pirated goods, engage in sexual conduct with children, or use or disseminate child pornography in a foreign country even if those activities are not illegal in that country.

Each of India’s states has independent regulations concerning alcohol purchase and consumption. Legal drinking ages range from 18 to 25 and can vary by beverage type. Some states permit alcohol use for medicinal purposes only, others require you to hold a permit to buy, transport, or consume alcohol. Penalties for violation can be harsh, so travelers are advised to check with Indian authorities in the states they plan to visit.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

India Population Comparison

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