According to the 2011 census data, Indian Muslims have the highest share of children and teenage group, reports a leading English daily. They make up 47% of 0-19 years of age group of the country’s population. Hindus make up 40% while Jains make up 29% of the young population.
Forty-one percent of the country’s population is below 20 years-old and nine percent over 60 years. The rest of the population forming 50% is between 20-29 years.
Overall, life cycles of different religious communities in India have shown common trends of declining proportion of children and increasing shares of elderly while also showing marked differences in average life span.
The share of the young population has declined since the previous census in 2001 when it was 45% for the whole country, 44% for Hindus, 52% for Muslims and 35% for Jains. This is a reflection of across-the-board declines in fertility rates – number of children born – leading to a slowing down of the respective population growth rates. The decline is the least for Hindus and highest for Buddhists and Christians, at seven percentage points, followed by Sikhs and Jains at six percentage points.
Also, Muslims have the highest total dependency ratio of 748 compared to the lowest ratio for Jains (498).
Notably, Dependency Ratio has reduced in all the states and UTs. At the all-India level, it has reduced by 100 points compared to 2001.