Principal languages: Hindi 41%, Bengali 8.1%, Telugu 7.2%, Marathi 7%, Tamil 5.9%, Urdu 5%, Gujarati 4.5%, Kannada 3.7%, Malayalam 3.2%, Oriya 3.2%, Punjabi 2.8%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.2%, other 5.9% note: English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the most widely spoken language and primary tongue of 41% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language (2001 census)
Ethnicity: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)
Religions: Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001)
National Holiday: Republic Day, January 26
Literacy rate: 61% (2005 est.)
President: Pranab Mukherjee (2012)
Prime Minister: Manmohan Singh (2004)
Capital: New Delhi
Largest city: Mumbai
GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $4.515 trillion; per capita $3,700. Real growth rate: 7.2%. Inflation: 6.8%. Unemployment: 9.8%. Arable land: 48.83%. Agriculture: rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish. Labor force: 487.6 million; agriculture 19%, services 54.7%, industry 26.3% (2010). Industries: textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, pharmaceuticals. Natural resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land. Exports: $298.2 billion (2011 est.): petroleum products, precious stones, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, vehicles, apparel. Imports: $451 billion (2011 est.): crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals. Major trading partners: U.S., UAE, China, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Singapore (2011)Communications
Telephones: main lines in use: 35.09 million (2010); mobile cellular: 752 million (2010). Broadcast media: Doordarshan, India's public TV network, operates about 20 national, regional, and local services; large number of privately-owned TV stations are distributed by cable and satellite service providers; government controls AM radio with All India Radio operating domestic and external networks; news broadcasts via radio are limited to the All India Radio Network; since 2000, privately-owned FM stations are permitted but limited to broadcasting entertainment and educational content (2007). Internet hosts: 6.738 million (2010). Internet users: 61.338 million (2009).Transportation
Railways: total: 63,974 km (18,927 km electrified) (2010). Roadways: total: 3,320,410 km (2009). Waterways: 14,500 km; note: 5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels (2012). Ports and harbors: Chennai, Jawaharal Nehru, Kandla, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay), Sikka, Vishakhapatnam. Airports: 352 (2012).Geography
One-third the area of the United States, the Republic of India occupies most of the subcontinent of India in southern Asia. It borders on China in the northeast. Other neighbors are Pakistan on the west, Nepal and Bhutan on the north, and Burma and Bangladesh on the east.
The country can be divided into three distinct geographic regions: the Himalayan region in the north, which contains some of the highest mountains in the world, the Gangetic Plain, and the plateau region in the south and central part. Its three great river systems—the Ganges, the Indus, and the Brahmaputra—have extensive deltas and all rise in the Himalayas.