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<June 2018>


Population Growth 
Census Pop.
1951 9,697,000
1961 11,606,000 19.7%
1971 14,227,000 22.6%
1981 17,612,000 23.8%
1991 21,844,000 24.0%
2001 26,945,829 23.4%
2011 32,988,134 22.4%
Source:Census of India

Jharkhand has a population of 32.96 million, consisting of 16.93 million males and 16.03 million females. The sex ratio is 947 females to 1000 males. The population consists of 28% tribal peoples, 12% Scheduled Castes and 60% others. The population density of the state is 414 persons per square kilometre of land; it varies from as low as 148 per square kilometre in Gumla district to as high as 1167 per square kilometre in Dhanbad district.

Religion in Jharkhand
Religion Percent
Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism
Distribution of religions

As per the 2001 census Hinduism is followed by 68.5% of the population of Jharkhand.Islam is followed by 13.8% of the population and Animisitic Sarna religion is practised by 13% of the population. Christianity with 4.1% of the population is the fourth largest religious community in Jharkhand.Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are all practiced making few less than 1%.

Census data since 1881 has shown a gradual decline of tribal population in Jharkhand as against the gradual increase of non-tribal population in the region. The reasons given for this are low birth rate and high death rate among the tribes; immigration of non-tribal peoples in the region; emigration of tribal peoples in the other places; and the adverse effects of industrialisation and urbanisation in the region. Tribal leaders assert, however, that their numbers are not as low as recorded by the census that they are still in the majority and that they remain a demographic force to reckon with.

Few centuries ago, the Jharkhand was extensively covered with the dense sal Jharkhand terrain had always been inaccessible. But with the discovery of its hidden mineral wealth has led to Jharkhand marching towards becoming one of the leading industrialized regions of India. On the one hand, the mine-fields, railways and roadways have gone ahead rapidly, educational and technical institutions have multiplied and the principal towns have become cosmopolitan; while on the other hand, the tribal people of the region have been deprived of their land and the process of indiscriminate exploitation has set in, creating racial, nutritional, cultural and socio-economic problems.

From the first regular Indian census of 1872, tribal denominations of the population have been regularly recorded in some form or the other. The Schedules tribes have been last notified under the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs Notification issued under Article 341 (i) and 342 (ii) of the constitution in 1956.

During the first census of 1872 the following 18 tribal communities were listed as the Aboriginal Tribes: (1) Asur, (2) Binjhia, (3) Gond, (4) Ho, (5) Kharia, (6) Kharwar, (7) Khond, (8) Kisan, (9) Korwa, (10) Mal Paharia, (11) Munda, (12) Oraon, (13) Santhal, (14) Sauria Paharia, (15) Savar, (16) Bhumij, (17) Birhor Chero.

Later 4 Tribes were classified as semi-Hinduized aboriginals, viz., (1) Banjara, (2) Bathundi, (3) Chik Baraik and (4) Mahli. As of now the following 30 communities of Jharkhand are listed as the Scheduled Tribes as per details in the state government’s website.

Primitives Tribes: Asur, Birhor, Birajia, Korba, Mal Paharia, Sauriya Paharia, Sabar, Hill Kharia and Parahiya.

Other Tribes: Biga, Banjara, Bathudi, Bedia, Bhumij, Binjhia, Chero, Chik Baraik, Gond, Gorait, Ho, Karmali, Khadia, Kharwar, Khond, Kisan, Kora, Lohra, Mahali, Munda, Oraon and Santhal.


The Santhals are the largest of the Schedule Tribes and are mostly found in the district of Santhal Parganas,which has been named after them. They primarily reside in the cities of Singhbhum, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad, Ranchi, and Palamau. Santhals are numerically the largest tribal group of India, speaking its own tongue-Santali, which is allied to the Mundari language. Racially and culturally Santhals are closely related to other Mundari or Austric tribe of Chotanagpur. Besides agriculture and hunting, they are famous for their skillful dances and the music. The Santhal women give sufficient proof of the aesthetic sense by drawing simple and artistic designs and patterns on the walls of their huts. The Santhals have the institution of ‘Bithala’, which is a form of severe punishment including excommunication.