India Map

Explore the map of India, it is a large country in South Asia known for its diverse culture, languages, and history. It is the world's second-most populous country and one of the fastest-growing major economies. India is famous for its rich heritage, with many ancient temples, monuments, and cities. It has a wide range of landscapes, from the Himalayan mountains in the north to beautiful beaches in the south. Agriculture plays a key role in its economy, and it is rapidly advancing in technology and industry. Indian cuisine, known for its spices and variety, is popular worldwide. The country is a democratic republic with multiple political parties, and it celebrates many festivals and traditions throughout the year.

India Map

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Map of India with Plain Background

About India Map

Explore map of India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the 2nd most populous country, the 7th largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world.

States and Union Territories of India

India is organized as a federal union made up of 28 states and 8 union territories, adding up to 36 areas in total. These states and union territories are broken down into smaller districts and administrative sections.

In India, each state has its own government and manages its own affairs. The control of these states is divided between their state government and India's central government. On the other side, the union territories are under the direct control of the central government. While a few union territories have their own local government, they typically do not have their own police forces.

States of India

S.N.StateVehicle codeZoneCapitalLargest cityStatehoodPopulationArea (km2)Official languagesAdditional official languages
1Andhra PradeshAPSouthernAmaravatiVisakhapatnam1 November 195649,506,799160,205Telugu-
2Arunachal PradeshARNorth-EasternItanagarItanagar20 February 19871,383,72783,743English-
3AssamASNorth-EasternDispurGuwahati26 January 195031,205,57678,550AssameseBengali, Bodo
4BiharBREasternPatnaPatna 104,099,45294,163HindiUrdu
5ChhattisgarhCGCentralNava RaipurRaipur1 November 200025,545,198135,194HindiChhattisgarhi
6GoaGAWesternPanajiVasco da Gama30 May 19871,458,5453,702KonkaniMarathi
7GujaratGJWesternGandhinagarAhmedabad1 May 196060,439,692196,024Gujarati-
8HaryanaHRNorthernChandigarhFaridabad1 November 196625,351,46244,212HindiPunjabi
9Himachal PradeshHPNorthernShimla (Summer), Dharamshala (Winter)Shimla25 January 19716,864,60255,673HindiSanskrit
10JharkhandJHEasternRanchiJamshedpur15 November 200032,988,13474,677HindiSantali, Urdu
11KarnatakaKASouthernBengaluruBengaluru1 November 195661,095,297191,791Kannada-
12KeralaKLSouthernThiruvananthapuramKochi1 November 195633,406,06138,863Malayalam-
13Madhya PradeshMPCentralBhopalIndore26 January 195072,626,809308,252Hindi-
14MaharashtraMHWesternMumbai (Summer), Nagpur (Winter)Mumbai1 May 1960112,374,333307,713Marathi-
15ManipurMNNorth-EasternImphalImphal21 January 19722,855,79422,347MeiteiEnglish
16MeghalayaMLNorth-EasternShillongShillong21 January 19722,966,88922,720EnglishKhasi
17MizoramMZNorth-EasternAizawlAizawl20 February 19871,097,20621,081English, Hindi, Mizo-
18NagalandNLNorth-EasternKohimaDimapur1 December 19631,978,50216,579English-
19OdishaODEasternBhubaneswarBhubaneswar26 January 195041,974,218155,820Odia-
20PunjabPBNorthernChandigarhLudhiana1 November 196627,743,33850,362Punjabi-
21RajasthanRJNorthernJaipurJaipur26 January 195068,548,437342,269HindiEnglish
22SikkimSKNorth-EasternGangtokGangtok16 May 1975610,5777,096English, NepaliBhutia, Gurung, Lepcha, Limbu, Manggar, Mukhia, Newari, Rai, Sherpa, Tamang
23Tamil NaduTNSouthernChennaiChennai1 November 195672,147,030130,058TamilEnglish
24TelanganaTSSouthernHyderabadHyderabad2 June 201435,193,978114,840TeluguUrdu
25TripuraTRNorth-EasternAgartalaAgartala21 January 19723,673,91710,492Bengali, English, Kokborok-
26Uttar PradeshUPCentralLucknowKanpur26 January 1950199,812,341243,286HindiUrdu
27UttarakhandUKCentralGairsain (Summer), Dehradun (Winter)Dehradun9 November 200010,086,29253,483HindiSanskrit
28West BengalWBEasternKolkataKolkata26 January 195091,276,11588,752Bengali, NepaliHindi, Odia, Punjabi, Santali, Urdu

Union Territories of India

S.N.Union territoryVehicle codeZoneCapitalLargest cityUT establishedPopulationArea (km2)Official languagesAdditional official languages
1Andaman and Nicobar IslandsANSouthernPort BlairPort Blair1 November 1956380,5818,249English, HindiBengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu
2ChandigarhCHNorthernChandigarh1 November 19661,055,450114English, Hindi, Punjabi-
3Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and DiuDDWesternDamanDaman26 January 2020586,956603English, Gujarati, HindiKonkani, Marathi
4DelhiDLNorthernNew Delhi1 November 195616,787,9411,490English, HindiPunjabi, Urdu
5Jammu and KashmirJKNorthernSrinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)Srinagar31 October 201912,258,43355,538English, Hindi, UrduDogri, Kashmiri
6LadakhLANorthernLeh (Summer), Kargil (Winter)Leh31 October 2019290,492174,852English, Ladakhi, UrduBalti, Purgi
7LakshadweepLDSouthernKavarattiKavaratti1 November 195664,47332English, Malayalam-
8PuducherryPYSouthernPondicherryPondicherry16 August 19621,247,953492English, TamilMalayalam, Telugu

About India

India, known officially as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It ranks seventh in terms of size globally and is the most populated as of June 2023. Since gaining independence in 1947, it has been the world's largest democracy. Geographically, India is bordered by the Indian Ocean in the south, the Arabian Sea in the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal in the southeast. It shares land borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Close by in the Indian Ocean are Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India share maritime borders with Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia.

Human presence in India dates back at least 55,000 years, with early humans arriving from Africa. Over time, this long history of human habitation has resulted in India being one of the most genetically diverse regions after Africa. Around 9,000 years ago, settled life began along the western margins of the Indus river basin, eventually evolving into the Indus Valley Civilisation in the third millennium BCE. By 1200 BCE, an early form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European language, had spread into India, its remnants visible in the Rigveda hymns, which document the early stages of Hinduism. The Dravidian languages, once prevalent across India, became more confined to the south. By 400 BCE, the caste system began taking shape within Hinduism, while Buddhism and Jainism emerged with philosophies unlinked to lineage. The Maurya and Gupta Empires, which arose in the Ganges Basin, marked a period of creativity but also saw a decline in women's status and the formalization of untouchability. In South India, the Middle kingdoms influenced Southeast Asia with their scripts and religious cultures.

In the early medieval period, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism established themselves along India's southern and western coasts. Later, Muslim armies from Central Asia intermittently invaded India's northern plains, founding the Delhi Sultanate and integrating northern India into Islamic networks. The 15th century saw the rise of the Vijayanagara Empire in South India and the emergence of Sikhism in Punjab. The Mughal Empire, starting in 1526, brought about two centuries of peace and left a legacy of stunning architecture. British East India Company's rule, followed by British Crown rule, turned India into a colonial economy while also consolidating its sovereignty. Modern ideas in education and public life took root during this period, and a significant nationalist movement eventually led to India's independence in 1947, which resulted in the partition into India and Pakistan.

Since 1950, India has been a federal republic with a democratic parliamentary system. It's a country rich in languages, ethnicities, and cultures. India's population expanded from 361 million in 1951 to nearly 1.4 billion in 2022, with a significant increase in per capita income and literacy rate. From being relatively poor in 1951, India is now a rapidly growing economy and a hub for information technology, boasting a growing middle class. It has an ambitious space program, marking achievements like landing a craft near the Lunar south pole. Indian culture, through movies, music, and spiritual teachings, is increasingly influential globally. While poverty rates have declined, economic inequality has risen. India is a nuclear-weapon state with ongoing territorial disputes. It faces challenges like gender inequality, child malnutrition, and air pollution. The country's diverse landscapes are home to various wildlife, supported by 21.7% of its area covered in forests and several protected habitats.

Names for India

The Oxford English Dictionary's third edition from 2009 explains that the name "India" comes from the Classical Latin word 'India', which refers to South Asia and a region east of it. This name evolved from several languages: it started as 'India' in Hellenistic Greek, then became 'Indos' in ancient Greek, changed to 'Hindush' in Old Persian (referring to an eastern province of the Achaemenid Empire), and finally linked back to the Sanskrit word 'Sindhu', meaning 'river', particularly pointing to the Indus River and its surrounding region. The ancient Greeks called the people from this area 'Indoi', which means 'The people of the Indus'.

The term 'Bharat' is also used to refer to India. It appears in Indian epic poetry and the Constitution of India, and many Indian languages use variations of this name. 'Bharat' is a newer version of 'Bharatavarsha', a name that originally described North India. This name became more common for the whole country around the mid-19th century.

Another name for India, 'Hindustan', emerged in Middle Persian and became popular in the 13th century, especially during the Mughal Empire. The meaning of 'Hindustan' has varied over time, sometimes referring to a region that includes today's northern India and Pakistan, and at other times to almost the entire territory of India.

History of India

Ancient India

Around 55,000 years ago, the first modern humans, known as Homo sapiens, reached the Indian subcontinent from Africa. The earliest evidence of these humans in South Asia dates back to about 30,000 years ago. By 6500 BCE, in regions like Mehrgarh and other areas of Balochistan, Pakistan, there's evidence of the domestication of crops and animals, the building of permanent homes, and the storage of extra food. This period saw the gradual emergence of the Indus Valley Civilisation, South Asia's first urban culture, which thrived between 2500 and 1900 BCE in parts of Pakistan and western India. Cities like Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Dholavira, and Kalibangan were central to this civilisation, known for its crafts and extensive trade.

From 2000 to 500 BCE, many areas in the subcontinent moved from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones. During this time, the Vedas, Hinduism's oldest texts, were composed, and historians suggest a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain. This era is also considered to have experienced several Indo-Aryan migrations from the northwest. The caste system, categorizing society into a hierarchy and excluding indigenous people, emerged in this period. On the Deccan Plateau, evidence points to a political system of chiefdoms. In South India, the number of megalithic monuments, along with signs of settled agriculture and crafts, indicates a shift to a more sedentary lifestyle.

By the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms in the Ganges Plain and north-western regions had formed into 16 large oligarchies and monarchies, known as the mahajanapadas. This time saw the rise of urban centres and the birth of new religious movements. Jainism gained prominence with Mahavira, and Buddhism, founded by Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from various social classes. Both religions encouraged renunciation and established monastic traditions. By the 3rd century BCE, the Magadha kingdom had evolved into the Mauryan Empire. Initially thought to have controlled most of the subcontinent, it's now believed to have consisted of several autonomous regions. The Mauryan kings, particularly Ashoka, are remembered for their empire-building, administrative skills, and Ashoka's later advocacy of Buddhism.

Between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the Tamil language's Sangam literature indicates that the southern peninsula was ruled by the Cheras, Cholas, and Pandyas. These dynasties actively traded with the Roman Empire and other parts of West and Southeast Asia. In North India, the era saw Hinduism reinforce patriarchal control, leading to increased subordination of women. The Gupta Empire, between the 4th and 5th centuries, developed a sophisticated system of administration and taxation in the Ganges Plain, influencing later Indian kingdoms. Under the Guptas, Hinduism shifted towards devotion rather than ritual management, sparking a resurgence in art and architecture. This period also saw significant progress in Sanskrit literature, science, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics.

Medieval India

During the early medieval period in India, from 600 to 1200 CE, the landscape was marked by numerous regional kingdoms and a rich tapestry of cultures. During Harsha of Kannauj's reign from 606 to 647 CE, he tried to extend his rule southward but was defeated by the Chalukya ruler of the Deccan. Similarly, his efforts to expand eastward were thwarted by the Pala king of Bengal. Attempts by the Chalukyas to extend their territory southward were also unsuccessful, facing resistance from the Pallavas, and further opposed by the Pandyas and Cholas. This era saw no single ruler establish a large empire; most could only maintain control within their immediate region. Meanwhile, pastoral communities displaced by expanding agriculture were integrated into the caste system, which began to exhibit regional variations.

The 6th and 7th centuries witnessed the creation of the first devotional hymns in Tamil. These hymns inspired similar creations across India, leading to a revival of Hinduism and shaping the modern languages of the subcontinent. Indian royalty, both major and minor, along with their patronized temples, attracted large populations to their capitals, turning these cities into economic centers. This period also saw a new wave of urbanization with the emergence of temple towns across India. By the 8th and 9th centuries, South Indian culture and political systems had spread to what are now Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. This cultural transmission involved Indian merchants, scholars, and sometimes armies; Southeast Asians also played a role, traveling to India for education and translating Buddhist and Hindu texts into their languages.

After the 10th century, nomadic clans from Muslim Central Asia, known for their swift-horse cavalry and large, unified armies, repeatedly invaded the northwestern plains of South Asia. This led to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. The Sultanate exerted control over much of North India and made numerous incursions into South India. Initially disruptive, the Sultanate generally allowed its vast non-Muslim population to follow their own laws and customs. By fending off Mongol invaders in the 13th century, the Sultanate protected India from the widespread destruction seen in West and Central Asia. This defense prompted a significant influx of soldiers, intellectuals, mystics, traders, artists, and artisans from those regions into India, giving rise to a unique Indo-Islamic culture in the north. The Sultanate's incursions into South India weakened regional kingdoms, paving the way for the indigenous Vijayanagara Empire. Drawing on strong Shaivite traditions and the military technology of the Sultanate, the Vijayanagara Empire eventually dominated much of peninsular India and significantly influenced South Indian society for an extended period.

Early Modern India

In the early 1500s, northern India, mostly under Muslim rule, was conquered by Central Asian warriors who had superior mobility and firepower. The Mughal Empire that emerged from this didn’t attempt to suppress the local societies it governed. Instead, it introduced new administrative practices and formed a diverse and inclusive group of rulers. This approach led to more systematic and uniform governance. The Mughals, especially under Emperor Akbar, fostered loyalty to the emperor, who was seen as almost divine. They promoted a Persianized culture, moving away from tribal bonds and a singular Islamic identity.

The Mughal Empire’s economic strategies were heavily reliant on agriculture, and they implemented a well-regulated silver currency for tax payments. This system encouraged peasants and artisans to engage in larger markets. The 17th century, mostly peaceful under the Mughal rule, was a time of economic growth for India, leading to increased support for arts, literature, textiles, and architecture. New social groups like the Marathas, Rajputs, and Sikhs in northern and western India grew in military strength and governance skills during this time, gaining recognition and experience through their interactions with the Mughal rule. The period also saw the emergence of new commercial and political elites in southern and eastern India, especially along the coasts.

By the 18th century, European trading companies, including the English East India Company, started establishing outposts along the coasts. The East India Company, with its control over the seas, greater resources, and advanced military, became increasingly dominant. It appealed to some Indian elites and by 1765 had gained control over Bengal. Its access to Bengal's wealth allowed it to expand its military and eventually control most of India by the 1820s. India shifted from being a manufacturer to a supplier of raw materials to the British Empire. This period marked the beginning of India's colonial era. The East India Company, now an extension of the British administration, began to involve itself in non-economic areas like education, social reform, and culture.

Modern India

Historians mark the start of India's modern era as being between 1848 and 1885. Lord Dalhousie's appointment in 1848 as Governor General of the East India Company initiated key modernization changes. These included defining sovereignty, monitoring the population, and educating the public. Soon after their launch in Europe, technological innovations like railways, canals, and the telegraph were introduced in India. However, during this period, dissatisfaction with the East India Company grew, leading to the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The rebellion, fueled by a mix of grievances including social reforms, high taxes, and unfair treatment of landowners and princes, significantly affected northern and central India and shook the Company's rule. By 1858, the rebellion was quelled, resulting in the dissolution of the East India Company and the British government taking direct control of India. The British established a unitary state with a limited parliamentary system and maintained the status of princes and gentry to prevent future unrest. This period eventually saw the emergence of public life and the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885.

The latter half of the 19th century saw technological progress and agricultural commercialization, but not without economic challenges. Many small farmers became dependent on distant markets, leading to a rise in famines. Despite Indians bearing the cost of infrastructure development, few industrial jobs were created for them. However, there were positive impacts, such as increased food production in the Punjab due to commercial cropping and the railway network aiding in famine relief and reducing goods transportation costs.

Post World War I, which saw around one million Indian soldiers participate, marked a new phase characterized by British reforms and Indian demands for self-rule. This period, led by Mahatma Gandhi, saw a nonviolent movement for independence. The 1930s brought legislative reforms and electoral victories for the Indian National Congress. The following decade faced multiple crises, including Indian participation in World War II, intensified demands for independence, and rising Muslim nationalism, culminating in India's independence in 1947, accompanied by the partition into India and Pakistan.

India's adoption of a constitution in 1950, establishing a secular and democratic republic, was crucial to its identity as an independent nation. Despite being a republic, India continued as a member of the Commonwealth. Economic liberalization, starting in the 1980s and aided by collaboration with the Soviet Union, led to a significant middle-class growth, making India one of the world's fastest-growing economies. However, India still grapples with widespread poverty, religious and caste violence, Naxalite insurgencies, and regional separatism. It has ongoing territorial disputes with China and Pakistan. While India's democracy and economic growth stand out globally, achieving freedom from poverty for its disadvantaged population remains an ongoing challenge.

Geography of India

India makes up most of the Indian subcontinent, situated on the Indian tectonic plate, part of the Indo-Australian Plate. India's key geological changes started about 75 million years ago when the Indian Plate, then a segment of Gondwana in the south, moved northeastward due to seafloor spreading. Concurrently, the oceanic crust of the Tethyan Ocean to the northeast began subducting beneath the Eurasian Plate. These movements not only formed the Indian Ocean but also caused the uplift of the Himalayas as the Indian continental crust went beneath Eurasia. Just south of the rising Himalayas, a huge trough shaped like a crescent formed, quickly filling with sediment from rivers to become the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The ancient Aravalli range, originating from the original Indian plate, stretches from the Delhi Ridge southwestward.

Peninsular India, the oldest and most stable part of India geologically, remains as the rest of the Indian Plate. It extends to the north as far as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India, running from Gujarat's Arabian Sea coast to Jharkhand's coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in the east. To the south, the Deccan Plateau is bordered by the Western and Eastern Ghats, with the plateau housing some of the country's oldest rock formations, over a billion years old. Positioned this way, India lies between 6° 44′ and 35° 30′ north latitude and 68° 7′ and 97° 25′ east longitude, north of the equator.

India's coastline spans 7,517 kilometers, with 5,423 kilometers on the peninsula and 2,094 kilometers across the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep islands. Its mainland coastline consists of sandy beaches (43%), rocky shores including cliffs (11%), and mudflats or marshy shores (46%).

Major rivers originating from the Himalayas, like the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, flow through India into the Bay of Bengal. Tributaries of the Ganges include the Yamuna and the Kosi, the latter known for its low gradient causing floods and course changes. Steeper gradient rivers of the peninsula like the Godavari, Mahanadi, Kaveri, and Krishna flow into the Bay of Bengal, while the Narmada and Tapti drain into the Arabian Sea. India also features the marshy Rann of Kutch in the west and the alluvial Sundarbans delta in the east, the latter shared with Bangladesh. The country's island territories include the coral atolls of Lakshadweep off the southwestern coast and the volcanic chain of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Andaman Sea.

India's climate is heavily influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, which shape the key summer and winter monsoons. The Himalayas block cold winds from Central Asia, making the Indian subcontinent generally warmer, while the Thar Desert attracts the moisture-rich southwest summer monsoon winds, crucial for India's rainfall from June to October. India predominantly experiences four climatic conditions: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane.

Since 1901, India has seen a temperature increase of 0.7 °C, often attributed to climate change. The retreat of Himalayan glaciers affects major rivers' flow, including the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. Projections suggest that droughts in India will become more frequent and severe by this century's end.

Biodiversity in India

India is recognized as a megadiverse country, one of 17 nations known for their vast biological diversity and numerous species unique to their regions. It hosts 8.6% of the world's mammal species, 13.7% of bird species, 7.9% of reptiles, 6% of amphibians, 12.2% of fish, and 6% of all flowering plants. Remarkably, a third of India's plant species are found only in the country. India is also home to four of the global 34 biodiversity hotspots, areas with significant habitat loss but high levels of endemism.

According to official data, India's forests cover 713,789 square kilometers, accounting for 21.71% of the country's total land area. These forests are categorized based on canopy density. Forests with over 70% canopy density, which are mainly tropical moist forests, cover 3.02% of India's land area and are found in the Andaman Islands, the Western Ghats, and Northeast India. Moderately dense forests, with 40-70% canopy density, make up 9.39% of the land area, predominating in the Himalayan temperate coniferous forests, the eastern sal forests, and the central and southern teak forests. Open forests, with 10-40% canopy density, cover 9.26% of the land. Thorn forests, once widespread in the Deccan Plateau and the Indo-Gangetic plain, are now largely converted to agricultural land.

Notable indigenous trees include the neem, used in rural herbal medicine, and the peepul, depicted on ancient seals of Mohenjo-daro and associated with the enlightenment of Buddha. Many Indian species trace their lineage back to Gondwana, from which India separated over 100 million years ago. India's collision with Eurasia led to species exchanges, followed by volcanic activity and climate change, causing the extinction of some endemic forms. Mammals entered India from Asia, reducing the endemism among Indian mammals compared to reptiles and amphibians. Unique species include the vulnerable hooded leaf monkey and the threatened Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats.

India has 172 species identified by the IUCN as threatened, including the Bengal tiger and the Ganges river dolphin. Critically endangered species include the gharial, the great Indian bustard, and the white-rumped vulture, nearly extinct due to diclofenac poisoning. Historical blackbuck habitats and the Asiatic cheetah are now either endangered or extinct. The significant human impact has led to critical endangerment of Indian wildlife. In response, India expanded its national parks and protected areas, established in 1935, and enacted the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 and Project Tiger. The Forest Conservation Act, introduced in 1980 and amended in 1988, along with over five hundred wildlife sanctuaries, eighteen biosphere reserves, and Ramsar-registered wetlands, are part of India's efforts to preserve its rich biodiversity.

Economy of India

As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2022, India's economy was valued at $3.46 trillion, making it the fifth-largest globally by market exchange rates and third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP), at around $11.6 trillion. With an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% over the past two decades, peaking at 6.1% during 2011-2012, India stands as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. However, it ranks 139th globally in nominal GDP per capita and 118th in GDP per capita at PPP. Until 1991, India followed protectionist and socialist-influenced policies. A balance of payments crisis in 1991 led to economic liberalization, steering the country towards a free-market system, focusing on foreign trade and investment inflows. India joined the World Trade Organization on 1 January 1995.

India's labor force, comprising 522 million workers as of 2017, is the world's second-largest. The service sector contributes 55.6% to the GDP, followed by the industrial sector at 26.3% and agriculture at 18.1%. Remittances from the 32 million Indians working abroad, totaling US$100 billion in 2022, play a significant role in the economy. Key agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseeds, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, and potatoes, while major industries span textiles, telecommunications, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, and software. External trade was 24% of India's GDP in 2006, up from 6% in 1985. In 2021, India was the world's ninth-largest importer and sixteenth-largest exporter. Main exports are petroleum products, textiles, jewelry, software, engineering goods, chemicals, and leather goods, while major imports include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, and chemicals.

Before 2007, India's economy grew at an average rate of 7.5%, and hourly wage rates more than doubled in the first decade of the 21st century. Since 1985, 431 million Indians have risen out of poverty, and the middle class is expected to reach around 580 million by 2030. India ranks 68th in global competitiveness, but performs well in financial market sophistication, banking, business sophistication, and innovation. It's seen as a favorable outsourcing destination and ranked 40th in the Global Innovation Index in 2023. As of 2023, India's consumer market is the world's fifth-largest.

India's nominal GDP per capita rose from US$308 in 1991 to US$1,730 in 2016 and is projected to reach US$2,466 by 2022. However, it remains lower than in some other Asian developing countries. A 2011 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) suggested that India's GDP at PPP might surpass that of the United States by 2045, with potential average annual growth of 8%, possibly making it the world's fastest-growing major economy until 2050. Key growth drivers include a young and expanding workforce, growth in manufacturing due to rising education and engineering skills, and a growing consumer market driven by an expanding middle class. The World Bank advises India to focus on reforms in various sectors, including public health and nutrition, for achieving its economic potential.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living Report 2017 listed four Indian cities – Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi – among the world's cheapest to live in.


India's telecommunications sector is the world's second-largest, boasting over 1.2 billion subscribers and contributing 6.5% to the national GDP. By the latter part of 2017, India overtook the US to become the world's second-biggest smartphone market, only trailing China.

The country's automotive industry, one of the fastest-growing globally, saw domestic sales increase by 26% during 2009-2010 and exports rise by 36% during 2008-2009. By 2022, India ranked as the third-largest vehicle market globally, behind China and the United States, even surpassing Japan. The Indian IT industry, at the close of 2011, employed 2.8 million professionals, generated nearly US$100 billion in revenue, accounting for 7.5% of the national GDP, and contributed to 26% of India's merchandise exports.

In the pharmaceutical sector, India has established itself as a significant global player. As of 2021, with 3,000 pharmaceutical companies and over 10,500 manufacturing units, India stands as the world's third-largest pharmaceutical producer and the largest producer of generic medicines. The country fulfills 50-60% of global vaccine demands, contributing approximately US$24.44 billion in exports, while its domestic pharmaceutical market is valued at around US$42 billion. India also ranks among the top 12 biotech destinations worldwide. The Indian biotech industry witnessed a 15.1% growth in 2012-2013, raising its revenue from ₹204.4 billion to ₹235.24 billion (equivalent to about US$3.94 billion at June 2013 exchange rates).


In spite of its economic advancements in recent years, India still confronts several socio-economic issues. As of 2006, it had the highest number of people living under the World Bank's international poverty line of $1.25 per day. This percentage has reduced from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005. With the World Bank's updated poverty line, the figure stood at 21% in 2011. Moreover, 30.7% of Indian children under five are underweight. The Food and Agriculture Organization's 2015 report stated that 15% of India's population is undernourished. Efforts like the Midday Meal Scheme are being implemented to address these issues.

A report by the Walk Free Foundation in 2018 estimated that nearly 8 million people in India live in conditions of modern slavery, including bonded labor, child labor, human trafficking, and forced begging. The 2011 census reported a decline in child labor to 10.1 million from 12.6 million in 2001.

Economic disparity among Indian states has been increasing since 1991. In 2007, the per-capita net state domestic product of the richest states was 3.2 times that of the poorest. On the corruption front, there has been some improvement. In 2018, India's ranking on the Corruption Perceptions Index improved to 78th out of 180 countries, scoring 41 out of 100, up from 85th in 2014.

Diseases, both epidemic and pandemic, have long been significant challenges in India, with COVID-19 and cholera being notable examples.

Demographics of India with Languages and Religion

According to the provisional report from the 2011 census, India had a population of 1,210,193,422, making it the world's second-most populous country. From 2001 to 2011, the population increased by 17.64%, a slower growth compared to the 21.54% rise in the previous decade (1991-2001). The 2011 census showed a sex ratio of 940 females for every 1,000 males. By 2020, the median age in India was 28.7 years. The first census after independence in 1951 recorded a population of 361 million. India's significant population growth over the last half-century is attributed to medical advancements and the "Green Revolution" in agriculture.

The average life expectancy in India is about 70 years, with women living an average of 71.5 years and men 68.7 years. The country has approximately 93 physicians for every 100,000 people. India has seen substantial rural to urban migration in recent years. Urban population increased by 31.2% from 1991 to 2001, but as of 2001, over 70% of the population still resided in rural areas. The urbanization level rose from 27.81% in 2001 to 31.16% in 2011, with a notable slowdown in rural population growth since 1991. As per the 2011 census, India has several major urban agglomerations, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. The national literacy rate in 2011 was 74.04%, with a higher rate among males (82.14%) than females (65.46%). The rural-urban literacy gap narrowed from 21.2 percentage points in 2001 to 16.1 percentage points in 2011. Kerala is the most literate state at 93.91%, while Bihar has the lowest literacy rate at 63.82%.

In language demographics, 74% of Indians speak Indo-Aryan languages, 24% speak Dravidian languages, and 2% speak Austroasiatic or Sino-Tibetan languages. India does not have a national language. Hindi is the most spoken language and the official language of the government, while English is widely used in business, administration, and higher education and is considered a "subsidiary official language". Each state and union territory has its official languages, and the constitution recognizes 22 "scheduled languages".

Regarding religion, Hinduism is the major religion, followed by 79.80% of the population, as per the 2011 census. Islam is practiced by 14.23% of the population, making India the country with the third-largest Muslim population and the largest in a non-Muslim majority country. Other religions include Christianity (2.30%), Sikhism (1.72%), Buddhism (0.70%), Jainism (0.36%), and others.

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