The growth rate of population in the decade 2001-2011 was 17.7 percent. The growth rate of population of the different religious communities in the same period was as Hindus: 16.8 percent; Muslim: 24.6 percent; Christian: 15.5 percent; Sikh: 8.4 percent; Buddhist: 6.1 percent and Jain: 5.4 percent, according to the census data on population by religious communities released yesterday.

While the census figure on religion was released more than four years after compilation of the data, the caste data is yet to be made public. Under the data released by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner today, the total population in the country in 2011 was 121.09 crore.

The distribution is total population by six major communities namely Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain besides 'other religions and persuasions' and 'religion not stated'. The data released are by sex and residents upto sub districts and towns.

Out of the total 121.09 crores, Hindus account for 96.63 crores (79.8 percent); Muslims 17.22 crores (14.2 percent); Christians 2.78 crores (2.3 percent); Sikhs 2.08 crores (1.7 percent); Buddhists 0.84 crores (0.7 percent); Jains 0.45 crores (0.4 percent), 'other religions and persuasions' (ORP) 0.79 crores (0.7 percent) and 'religion not stated' 0.29 crores (0.2 percent).

The proportion of Muslim population to total population has increased by 0.8 percentage point (PP) in 2011, the census data said.

The proportion of Hindu population to total population in 2011 has declined by 0.7 PP; the proportion of Sikh population has declined by 0.2 PP and the Buddhist population has declined by 0.1 PP during the decade 2001-2011.

There has been no significant change in the proportion of Christians and Jains.

As per 2001 census, India's total population was 102 crores of which Hindu population comprised 82.75 crore (80.45 percent) and Muslims were 13.8 crore (13.4 percent).

JD(U), SP, DMK and  some other parties have been asking the government to release the caste census figure. The data on socio economic status of the population was released on July 3.

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