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Demographics of Karnataka

File:Karnataka Population.png
Distribution of population in Karnataka

Karnataka, with a total population of 61,500,000, is one of the major states in South India. Kannada is the official language of Karnataka[1] and is spoken as a native language of the people. Other linguistic minorities in the state are Tulu, Kodava, Konkani, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Hindi.[2] Karnataka is also in the forefront of population control measures with the world's first two birth control clinics being set up in 1930 in the Mandya district.[3]


According to the 2011 census of India, the total population of Karnataka is 6.25 crores. Of this, 50.9% are male and 49.1% are female. There is a decadal increase in population of 17.3% from 1991 to 2001. Population density is 275.6 per km², the sex ratio is 964 females to 1000 males and 34.0% of the people in Karnataka live in urban areas. The literacy rate is 75.4% (as per the 2011 census). As per the 2001 census, the eight largest cities of Karnataka in order of their population are Bengaluru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Mysuru, Belagavi, Kalburgi, Mangaluru, Davanagere and Shivamogga.[4] The state has one of the largest populations of Anglo-Indians in India. Given below is a composite table of languages and religions of Karnataka at the census 2001 languages in karnataka

Kannada = 80.00%, Urdu = 8.05%, Telugu = 3.03%, Tamil = 1.50%, Tulu = 2.43%, Konkani=1.40%, Marathi = 2.4%, others=1.18%,

Religion in Karnataka

Bengaluru Urban and Belagavi are the most populous Districts, each of them having a population of more than three million. Gadaga, Chamarajanagara and Kodagu districts have a population of less than a million.

83% of the population are Hindu, 12.2% are Muslim, 3.1% are Christian, 0.8% are Jains, 0.7% are Buddhist, <0.1% are Sikhs, and remaining belong to other religions.[5] Karnataka is also the location of some of tribes like, Nayaka, Soliga, and Yerava. The joint family system is prevalent in the rural areas of Karnataka and there are extreme cases like the Narasinganavars who reside in the Dharwada district and are recognised as one of the largest undivided families in the world.

Caste demographics

Castes of Karnataka[6][7]
Caste Population (%)
Lingayat 17% (Jangam sub-sect -3%)
Vokkaliga 15%
Dalits(SCs) 16.5%
Tribals(STs) 7%
Kurubas 8%
Muslims 12.3%
Others 24% (includes Christians)
  • As per, 2011 Census of India , Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes constitute 23.5% of Karnataka's 61 million population.[8] SCs constitute 16.5% of population.[9] SC/STs Order (Amendment) Act, 1976 notification identified 101 Dalit sub-castes as Scheduled Caste.[10][11][12]


Health care

The princely state of Mysore was the first state in India to take up a vaccination drive against small pox. World's first two birth control clinics were set up in Karnataka in the district of Mandya.[3] Even though health care in Karnataka's private sector is among world's best,[13] state as a whole has not been fully successful in providing effective primary health care. Apart from capital Bangalore and coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada other parts of the state especially northern districts have not received sufficient attention by government and private sectors.[3] However Karnataka has established a modicum of public health services having a better record of health care and child care compared to other states of India.[14] The state has a birth rate of 2.2%, death rate of 0.7%, an infant mortality rate of 5.5%, a maternal mortality rate of 0.2% and 2.2 being total fertility rate.[3] In 2004 state's Health and Family Welfare Services had 8,143 sub-centres (one for 5,000 people), 581 Primary Health Units (PHUs), 1,679 Primary Health Centres (PHCs), 19 mobile units, 7,304 maternity annexes, 17 urban PHCs and 110 Community Health Centres. There were 87 Urban Family Welfare Centres, 124 Urban Health Centres and 24 district level and 149 taluk level hospitals. Six government hospitals in Karnataka have won ISO-9002 certification. During 2004-05 Karnataka slipped from the sixth place to the seventh in the Human Development Index. During fiscal year 2004-05, only 0.7% of total GSDP was allocated to health sector.[3]

Karnataka is one of the states of India most seriously affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and stands fifth on the number of reported AIDS cases in the country. The first case of AIDS was detected in the state in 1988. Of the 49 high prevalence HIV/AIDS districts in India, 10 are in Karnataka.[15] This has caused Karnataka to become the first state in India to bring in legislation making pre-marital HIV tests compulsory.[16] In 2010, the Government of Karnataka approved new state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS prevention education developed at Stanford University by U.S. nonprofit TeachAIDS, and committed to distributing them in 5,500 government schools.[17]

Karnataka is also home to Handigodu Syndrome, a rare and painful osteoarthritic disorder endemic to the Malnad region of the state.


Official Census Portal of Mysore District [1]

  1. "The Karnataka Official Language Act" (PDF). Official website of Department of Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation. Government of Karnataka. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  2. "Urdu in Karnataka". A. R. Fatihi, PhD on Language in India. Central Institute of Indian Languages. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Envisaging a healthy growth". Online Webpage of the Frontline. The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  4. "Population of Corporation/CMC/TMC/TP, Population 2001 Census". Online Webpage of the Directorate of Municipal Administration. Government of Karnataka. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 
  5. "India (Religion), Census of 2001". Online Webpage of Census of India. Registrar General, Government of India. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  6. "Today could be former prime minister Deve Gowda's last hurrah". 
  7. "In Karnataka politics, caste matters". 
  8. "Why there is no 'Jupiter' among dalits in Karnataka?". 
  9. "Sadashiva panel on caste demands goes on and on". 
  10. "Dalits told to mention their caste as Madiga during census". 
  13. "Karnataka bets big on healthcare tourism". Online webpage of the Hindu Business Line, dated 2004-11-23. 2004, The Hindu. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  14. "Ticking child healthcare time bomb". Online Webpage of the Education World. Education World. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  15. "HIV/AIDS in India - The hard hit states" (PDF). Population foundation of India. Population Reference Bureau. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  16. "Karnataka move: Pre-marital HIV tests mandatory". Online webpage of TribuneIndia. The Tribune. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  17. "Karnataka government to implement TeachAIDS tutorials in 5,500 schools". TeachAIDS. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2010.