India is a secular federal republic governed in a democratic parliamentary system. It is a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society. India`s population grew from 361 million in 1951 to 1 billion 211 million in 2011. During the same time, it`s nominal per capita income increased from $64 annually to $2,041, and its literacy rate from 16.6% to 74%. Among the socio-economic challenges, India`s faces are gender inequality, child malnutrition, and rising levels of air pollution. India`s land is mega diverse, with four biodiversity hotspots.
India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the constitution of India, which serves as the country`s supreme legal document. It is a constitutional republic and representative democracy, in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law. Federalism in India defines the power distribution between the union, or central, government and the states.
Despite economic growth during recent decades, India continues to face socio-economic challenges. In 2006, India contained the largest number of people living below the World Bank`s international poverty line of US$1.25 per day, the proportion having decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005; under its later revised poverty line, it was 21% in 2011.30.7% of India`s children under the age of five are underweight. According to a food and agriculture organization report in 2015, 15% of the population is undernourished. The mid-day Meal Scheme attempts to lower these rates.
According to a Walk Free Foundation report in 2016, there were an estimated 18.3 million people in India, or 1.4% of the population, living in the forms of modern slavery, such as bonded labor, child labor, human trafficking, and forced begging, among others. According to the 2011 census, there were 10.1 million child laborers in the country, a decline of 2.6 million from 12.6 million child labourers in 2001.
Since 1991, economic inequality between India`s states has consistently grown: the per-capita net state domestic product of the richest states in 2007 was 3.2 times that of the poorest. Corruption in India is perceived to have decreased. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, India ranked 78th out of 180 countries in 2018 with a score of 41 out of 100, an improvement from 85th in 2014.
The population of India as per 2011 census was 1,210,193,422. India added 181.5 million to its population since 2001. India, with 2.4% of the world`s surface area, accounts for 17.5% of its population. Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state with roughly 200 million people. Of the 1.21 billion Indians, 833 million (68.84%) live in rural areas while 377 million stays in urban areas.453.6 million people in India are migrants, which is 37.8% of the total population.
India is the homeland of major belief systems such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, while also being home to several indigenous faiths and tribal religions which have survived the influence of major religions for centuries. The religious data on India Census 2011 was released by the Government of India on 25 August 2015. Hindus are 79.8% (966.3 million) while Muslims are 14.23% (172.2 million) in India. And Christians are 2.30% (28.7 million).