India - Statistics & Facts

India, located in South Asia, is the seventh-largest country in the world by area and the second-most populous country, behind China; however, it is estimated that India will overtake China as the most populous country in the world in 2023. In 2021, India has a population of 1.39 billion people, and its capital city, New Delhi, is estimated to be home to almost 20 million inhabitants. Despite the fact that India’s population has grown steadily, the fertility rate in the country is on the decline, and will soon fall below replacement level (2.1 children per woman). The population increase thereafter can be attributed to the improvement in sanitation infrastructure and health care, which has led to an increase in the average life expectancy and a drastic fall in infant and child mortality rates. However this average life expectancy is still well below that of the U.S. and China.


The Republic of India was established in January 1950, after gaining independence from the British Empire in 1947. Since then India has existed as a federal republic consisting of 28 states and 7 union territories. The country’s parliamentary democracy is considered to be the largest democracy in the world and has become increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of social, political, and economic changes. Elections generally take place every five years. India's prime minister is the leader of the government, while the president fulfils a more ceremonial role as the head of state. India has no national language, but Hindi has the largest number of speakers and is also the official language used by the government.


India’s economy has been subject to considerable growth since its liberalization in the early 1990s. India’s GDP growth rate was consistently above five percent, until it dropped to four percent in 2019, and then shrunk by 8 percent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic; in the years to come it is estimated that India's GDP growth will return above six percent. In 2020, India's economy was ranked the sixth largest in the world. Additionally, unemployment in India fell to it's lowest ever level in 2019, before rising sharply in 2020; it remains to be seen how the economy will bounce back as the impact of covid lessens


The biggest industry in India is retail, which makes up almost a quarter of the nation’s GDP. Agriculture also remains a key industry with India producing products such as rice, wheat, cotton, and tea. The mining industry is also one of the major contributors to the economy of India. The country is one of the largest producers of iron ore, the fifth largest producer of bauxite, and the third largest producer of coal in the world. More recently, India has developed a reputation as a breeding ground for IT specialists, and the relatively low wage levels make India a very popular destination for outsourcing. The IT industry in India is continuing to surge with over 191 billion U.S. dollar’s worth of revenue generated in 2020, contributing a considerable amount to the country’s overall GDP.


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