Muslims are the largest proportion of the young (between 0 and 19 years of age) in India, according to the latest 2011 census data, says a report by The Times of India.
As much as 47% of Muslims are below 20 years of age, compared to 40% among Hindus. But since they constitute a smaller share of the population the number of Hindus still far outnumbers those of the Muslim community. Muslims had the highest proportion of youth in 2001 as well.
Christians and Buddhists each have 37% of their population below 20 years of age, closely followed by Sikhs at 35%. Jains lag behind with just 29% population below 20 years.
Here’s a pictorial graphic of the figures:
But India isn’t getting any younger
Overall, the young population of the country is on a decline. While the number of children and teenagers has come down since 2001, the proportion of elderly has risen.
As of 2011, 41% of the country’s population is below 20 years while in 2001, it was 45%. The proportion of the young in all communities has gone down.
What does it say? The figures reflect the overall declines in fertility rates (number of children born). It leads to slowing down of the population growth rates.
As of 2011, 9% of population is above 60. Sikhs and Jains have the highest number of elderly at 12% each. This is followed by Christians at 10%, and Hindus and Buddhists at 9%. Muslims have the lowest number of elderly at 6%