In terms of growth of different religious communities, Hindus showed a decline over the previous decade, their population growing by 20% during 1991 and 2001 as compared to 22.8% during 1981-91.
Muslim Population Catching Up Fast
The Muslim population grew by 29.3% during 1991-2001, compared to 32.9% during 1981-91. According to India's right-wing Hindu organization Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), if the current trend continues, the population of Muslims in India would equal that of the Hindus by 2051. (See Table 3 ).
Hindus Still Majority
Out of the total population of 1.028 billion in India as at the 2001 Census, the Hindus were 827 million in number and constituted 80.5% of the population of the country. (See Table 1 ).The Muslim population stood at 138 million comprising 13.4% of the population. (See Table 2 ). A majority of the Hindu population (74%), it was revealed, resides in villages as against 64% in case of Muslims. (See Table 4).
Sex Ratio & Literacy Rate
The sex ratio or number of females per thousand males for Hindus was estimated at 931. The literacy rate among Hindus at 65.1% is better than the national average (64.8%) for all religious groups combined. The female literacy rate among the Hindus was 53.2%. The highest literacy rate among the females was recorded among the Jains (90.6%).
These statistics were revealed in a report entitled "2001 Census Data On Religion" released in September 2004.