List of languages by number of native speakers in India

India is home to several hundred languages. Most Indians speak a language belonging to the families of the Indo-Aryan branch of Indo-European (c. 77%), the Dravidian (c. 20.61%), the Austroasiatic (Munda) (c. 1.2%), or the Sino-Tibetan (c. 0.8%), with some languages of the Himalayas still unclassified. The SIL Ethnologue lists 415 living languages for India.

Overview

India's central government has 23 constitutionally recognized official languages. Hindi and English are typically used as an official language by the central government. State governments use their respective official languages.

Hindi is the most widely spoken language in the northern parts of India. The Indian census takes the widest possible definition of "Hindi" as a broad variety of the "Hindi Belt".[2] According to 2001 Census, 53.6% of the Indian population declared that they speak Hindi as either their first or second language, in which 41% of them have declared it as their native language or mother tongue.[3][4][5] 12% of Indians declared that they can speak English as a second language.[6]

Thirteen languages account for more than 1% of Indian population each, and between themselves for over 95%; all of them are "scheduled languages of the constitution". Scheduled languages spoken by fewer than 1% of Indians are Santali (0.63%), Kashmiri (0.54%), Nepali (0.28%), Sindhi (0.25%), Konkani (0.24%), Dogri (0.22%), Meitei (0.14%), Bodo (0.13%) and Sanskrit (In the 2001 census of India, only 14,135 people reported Sanskrit as their native language).[7] The largest language that is not "scheduled" is Bhili (0.95%), followed by Gondi (0.27%), Khandeshi (0.21%), Tulu (0.17%) and Kurukh (0.10%).

Of the Indian population in 1991, 19.4% exhibited bilingualism and 7.2% exhibited trilingualism.

India has a Greenberg's diversity index of 0.914—i.e. two people selected at random from the country will have different native languages in 91.4% of cases.[8]

As per the 2011 Census of India, languages by highest number of speakers are as follows: Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu, Kannada, Odia, Malayalam.[9][10]

List of languages by number of native speakers

Ordered by number of speakers as first language.

More than one million speakers

The 2001 census recorded 29 individual languages as having more than 1 million native speakers (0.1% of total population). The languages in bold are scheduled languages (the only scheduled language with less than 1 million native speakers is Sanskrit). The first table is restricted to only speaking populations for scheduled languages.

First, Second, and Third languages by number of speakers in India (2011 Census)
First language speakers Second language
speakers
[11]
Third language
speakers
[11]
Total speakers
Language Figure[11] % of total
population
Figure[12][11] % of total
population
Hindi[lower-alpha 2] 528,347,193 43.63% 139,207,180 24,160,696 691,347,193 57.09%
English 259,678 0.02% 83,125,221 45,993,066 129,259,678 10.67%
Bengali 97,237,669 8.03% 9,037,222 1,008,088 107,237,669 8.85%
Marathi 83,026,680 6.86% 12,923,626 2,966,019 99,026,680 8.18%
Telugu 81,127,740 6.70% 11,946,414 1,001,498 94,127,740 7.77%
Tamil 69,026,881 5.70% 6,992,253 956,335 77,026,881 6.36%
Gujarati 55,492,554 4.58% 4,035,489 1,007,912 60,492,554 4.99%
Urdu 50,772,631 4.19% 11,055,287 1,096,428 62,772,631 5.18%
Kannada 43,706,512 3.61% 14,076,355 993,989 58,706,512 4.84%
Odia 37,521,324 3.10% 4,972,151 31,525 42,551,324 3.51%
Malayalam 34,838,819 2.88% 499,188 195,885 35,538,819 2.93%
Punjabi 33,124,726 2.74% 2,300,000 720,000 36,074,726 2.97%
Sanskrit 24,821 0.002% 1,234,931 1,196,223 2,360,821 0.19%
Table: Population ordered by number of native speakers
RankLanguage 1991 census of India[13]
(total: 838,583,988)
2001 census of India[14]
(total: 1,028,610,328)
2011 Census of India[15][16]
(total: 1,210,854,977)[17]
Encarta 2007 estimate[18]
Worldwide total
SpeakersPercentageSpeakersPercentageSpeakersPercentageSpeakers
1Hindi[lower-alpha 2]329,518,08739.29%422,048,64241.1%528,347,19343.63%366 million
2Bengali69,595,7388.30%83,369,7698.11%97,237,6698.03%207 million
3Marathi62,481,6817.45%71,936,8946.99%83,026,6806.86%68.0 million
4Telugu66,017,6157.87%74,002,8567.19%81,127,7406.70%69.7 million
5Tamil53,006,3686.32%60,793,8145.91%69,026,8815.70%66.0 million
6Gujarati40,673,8144.85%46,091,6174.48%55,492,5544.58%46.1 million
7Urdu43,406,9325.18%51,536,1115.01%50,772,6314.19%60.3 million
8Kannada32,753,6763.91%37,924,0113.69%43,706,5123.61%35.3 million
9 Odia28,061,3133.35%33,017,4463.21%37,521,3243.10%32.3 million
10Malayalam30,377,1763.62%33,066,3923.21%34,838,8192.88%35.7 million
11Punjabi23,378,7442.79%29,102,4772.83%33,124,7262.74%57.1 million
12Assamese13,079,6961.56%13,168,4841.28%15,311,3511.26%15.4 million
13Maithili7,766,9210.926%12,179,1221.18%13,583,4641.12%24.2 million
14Bhili/Bhilodi9,582,9570.93%10,413,6370.86%
15Santali5,216,3250.622%6,469,6000.63%7,368,1920.65%
16Kashmiri5,527,6980.54%6,797,5870.58%
17Gondi2,713,7900.26%2,984,4530.25%
18Nepali2,076,6450.248%2,871,7490.28%2,926,1680.25%16.1 million
19Sindhi2,122,8480.253%2,535,4850.25%2,772,2640.24%19.7 million
20Dogri2,282,5890.22%2,596,7670.22%
21Konkani1,760,6070.210%2,489,0150.24%2,256,5020.19%
22Kurukh1,751,4890.17%1,988,3500.16%
23Khandeshi2,075,2580.21%1,860,2360.15%
24Tulu1,722,7680.17%1,846,4270.15%
25Meitei (Manipuri)1,270,2160.151%1,466,705*0.14%1,761,0790.15%
26Bodo1,221,8810.146%1,350,4780.13%1,482,9290.13%
27Khasi1,128,5750.11%1,431,3440.12%
28Ho1,042,7240.101%1,421,4180.12%
29Mundari1,061,3520.103%1,128,2280.09%
30Garo889,4790.086%1,128,2280.09%
31Tripuri854,0230.083%1,011,2940.08%

* Excludes figures of Paomata, Mao-Maram and Purul sub-divisions of Senapati district of Manipur for 2001.
** The percentage of speakers of each language for 2001 has been worked out on the total population of India excluding the population of Mao-Maram, Paomata and Purul subdivisions of Senapati district of Manipur due to cancellation of census results.

100,000 to one million speakers

RankLanguage2001 census
SpeakersPercentage
32Kui916,2220.089%
33Lushai/Mizo674,7560.066%
34Halabi593,4430.058%
35Korku574,4810.056%
36Miri/Mishing551,2240.054%
37Munda469,3570.046%
38Karbi/Mikir419,5340.041%
39Koya362,0700.035%
40Ao261,3870.025%
41Savara252,5190.025%
42Konyak248,1090.024%
43Kharia239,6080.023%
44English226,4490.022%
45Malto224,9260.022%
46Nissi/Dafla211,4850.021%
47Adi198,4620.019%
48Thado190,5950.019%
49Lotha170,0010.017%
50Coorgi/Kodagu166,1870.016%
51Rabha164,7700.016%
52Tangkhul142,0350.014%
53Kisan141,0880.014%
54Angami132,2250.013%
55Phom122,5080.012%
56Kolami121,8550.012%
57Khond/Kondh[19]118,5970.012%
58Dimasa111,9610.011%
59Ladakhi104,6180.010%
60Sema103,5290.010%

List of mother tongues by number of speakers

Each of the languages of the 2001 census subsumes one or more mother tongues. Speaker numbers are available for these mother tongues and they are also included in the speaker numbers for their respective language. For example, the language Telugu (with a total of 81,127,740 speakers) includes the mother tongues of Telugu (with 80,912,459 speakers), Vadari (198,020 speakers) and "Others" (17,261 speakers).[20] The General Notes from the 2001 census define "mother tongue" as "the language spoken in childhood by the person's mother to the person. If the mother died in infancy, the language mainly spoken in the person's home in childhood will be the mother tongue."[21]

The following table lists those mother tongues that have more than one million speakers according to the 2011 census:[22]

Mother tongues with more than one million speakers
RankMother tongue2011 censusIncluded
in language
SpeakersPercentage
1Hindi322,200,00026.6%
2Bengali96,180,0007.94%
3Marathi82,800,0006.84%
4Telugu80,910,0006.68%
5Tamil68,890,0005.69%
6Gujarati55,040,0004.55%
7Urdu50,730,0004.19%
8Bhojpuri50,580,0004.18%Hindi
9Kannada43,510,0003.59%
10Malayalam34,780,0002.87%
11Odia34,060,0002.81%
12Punjabi31,140,0002.57%
13Rajasthani25,810,0002.13%Hindi
14Chhattisgarhi16,250,0001.34%Hindi
15Assamese14,820,0001.22%
16Maithili13,350,0001.10%
17Magadhi/Magahi12,710,0001.05%Hindi
18Haryanvi9,807,0000.810%Hindi
19Khortha/Khotta8,039,0000.664%Hindi
20Marwari7,832,0000.647%Hindi
21Santali6,973,0000.576%
22Kashmiri6,554,0000.541%
23Bundeli/Bundel khandi5,626,0000.465%Hindi
24Malvi5,213,0000.430%Hindi
25Sadan/Sadri4,346,0000.359%Hindi
26Mewari4,212,0000.348%Hindi
27Awadhi3,851,0000.318%Hindi
28Wagdi3,394,0000.280%Bhili/Bhilodi
29Lamani/Lambadi3,277,0000.271%Hindi
30Pahari[lower-alpha 3]3,254,0000.269%Hindi
31Bhili/Bhilodi3,207,0000.265%
32Hara/Harauti2,944,0000.243%Hindi
33Nepali2,926,0000.242%
34Gondi2,857,0000.236%
35Bagheli/Baghel Khandi2,679,0000.221%Hindi
36Sambalpuri2,630,0000.217%Odia
37Dogri2,597,0000.214%
38Garhwali2,482,0000.205%Hindi
39Nimadi2,309,0000.191%Hindi
40Surjapuri2,256,0000.186%Hindi
41Konkani2,147,0000.177%
42Kumauni2,081,0000.172%Hindi
43Kurukh/Oraon1,977,0000.163%
44Tulu1,842,0000.152%
45Manipuri1,761,0000.145%
46Surgujia1,738,0000.144%Hindi
47Sindhi1,679,0000.139%
48Bagri1,657,0000.137%Punjabi
49Ahirani1,636,0000.135%Khandeshi
50Banjari1,581,0000.131%Hindi
51Brajbhasha1,556,0000.129%Hindi
52Dhundhari1,476,0000.122%Hindi
53Bodo/Boro1,455,0000.120%Bodo
54Ho1,411,0000.117%
55Gojri/Gujjari/Gujar1,228,0000.101%Hindi
56Mundari1,128,0000.093%
57Garo1,125,0000.093%
58Kangri1,117,0000.092%Hindi
59Khasi1,038,0000.086%
60Kachchhi1,031,0000.085%Sindhi

Notes

  1. Some languages may be over- or under-represented as the census data used is at the state-level. For example, while Urdu has 52 million speakers (2001), in no state is it a majority language.
  2. includes Western Hindi apart from Urdu, Eastern Hindi, Bihari languages except for Maithili, the Rajasthani languages, and the Pahari languages apart from Nepali and (in 2001) Dogri, whether or not the included varieties were reported as "Hindi" or under their individual names.
  3. "Pahari" as ambiguous, but in the census returns the language name most commonly comes from the Western Pahari area.[23]

See also

References

Notes

  1. "50th Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India (July 2012 to June 2013)" (PDF). Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  2. "How a Bihari lost his mother tongue to Hindi".
  3. "These four charts break down India's complex relationship with Hindi".
  4. "Nearly 60% of Indians speak a language other than Hindi".
  5. 2001 census data
  6. In 1991, there were 90,000,000 "users" of English. (Census of India Indian Census Archived 2006-12-23 at the Wayback Machine, Issue 10, 2003, pp. 8–10, (Feature: Languages of West Bengal in Census and Surveys, Bilingualism and Trilingualism) and Tropf, Herbert S. 2004. India and its Languages Archived 2008-03-08 at the Wayback Machine. Siemens AG, Munich.)
  7. "COMPARATIVE SPEAKERS' STRENGTH OF SCHEDULED LANGUAGES -1971, 1981, 1991 AND 2001". censusindia.gov. New Delhi, India: Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  8. Paul, Lewis M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. Fennig, eds. (2015). "Summary by country". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (Eighteenth ed.). SIL International.
  9. Jain, Bharti (27 June 2018). "Hindi mother tongue of 44% in India, Bangla second most-spoken". The Economic Times. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  10. Statement 4 : Scheduled Languages in descending order of speakers' strength – 2011
  11. Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. "C-17 POPULATION BY BILINGUALISM AND TRILINGUALISM".
  12. "Indiaspeak: English is our 2nd language – Times of India".
  13. Comparative Speaker's Strength of Scheduled Languages -1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001, Census of India, 1991
  14. Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2000, Census of India, 2001
  15. "Language" (PDF). Census of India. New Delhi: Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011. p. 15. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  16. Statement 1 : Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2011
  17. Statement 2 : Distribution of population by Scheduled and other Languages India, States and Union Territories – 2011
  18. "Languages Spoken by More Than 10 Million People – Table – MSN Encarta". Archived from the original on 2007-12-03.
  19. different from Kui language
  20. The data are from http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/C-16/DDW-C16-STMT-MDDS-0000.XLSX.
  21. Census Data 2001 General Notes
  22. "2011 Census tables: C-16, population by mother tongue". Census of India Website. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  23. Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. p. 439. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.

General references

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.