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Increase in Muslim population in the State

By Biju Govind

KOZHIKODE, SEPT. 22. While the population of Hindus and Christians declined by 1.48 and 0.32 percentage points respectively, the population of Muslims increased by 1.70 percentage points in the State since the last Census in 1991, according to the First Report on Religion Data released by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, J.K. Banthia, in New Delhi recently.

Hindus constitute 56.20 per cent, Muslims 24.7 per cent and Christians 19 per cent of the total population of 3,18,41,374 (females — 1,63,72,760 and males — 1,54,68,614) as per Census 2001 of the State.

Overall growth

The Hindu population is 1,78,83,449, Muslims 78,63,342, Christians 60,57,427, Sikhs 2,762, Buddhists 2,027, Jains 4,528, others 2256 and religion not stated 25,083. The overall population growth in the decade is 27,40,101 (9.42 percentage points).

Except Malappuram district, where the Muslims are a majority, Hindus constitute the majority in all other districts.

While Muslims form the second largest community in Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Palakkad and Kollam districts, Christians are placed second in Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram.

The population of Hindus is the largest in Thiruvananthapuram district and the lowest in Wayanad district. In the case of Muslims, the largest is in Malappuram district and the lowest in Pathanamthitta. The Christian population is highest in Ernakulam district and the lowest in Malappuram.

Sex ratio

The average sex ratio (females per 1,000 males) for all religions in the State is 1,058. For Hindus it is 1,058, Muslims 1,082 and Christians 1,031. The sex ratio for children in the age group 0 to 6 years is 961 for Hindus, 960 for Muslims and 959 for Christians.

The population of children below six years for various religions also gives a different picture. The population of Hindus in this category is 19,32,504 (males — 9,85,394 and females — 9,47,110), Muslims — 11,78,880 (males — 6,01,660 and females — 5,77,220) and Christians — 6,77,878 (males — 3,45,928 and females — 3,31,950). The proportion of population in this age group among Hindus, Muslims and Christians is 10.8, 11.2 and 15 per cent respectively.

Literacy

The literacy rate of the three communities shows that Christians are more literate than Hindus and Muslims. The literacy percentage of these communities are: Hindus (male — 90.2 and female — 86.7 per cent), Muslims (male — 89.4 and female — 85.5 per cent) and Christians (male — 94.8 and female — 93.5 per cent).

Employment data establish that 35.7 per cent of Hindus are employed. In the case of Christians and Muslims, the rates are 33.9 per cent and 23.2 per cent respectively. The low rate of employment in the Muslim community can be attributed to the highest number of unemployed women in Malappuram and Kozhikode district. Nearly 12,47,419 Muslim women in Malappuram district and 5,41,646 in Kozhikode have been placed in the category of non-workers.

District-wise break-up

The district-wise population of Hindus, Muslims and Christians is as follows: Kasaragod: 7,05,234 (Hindus), 4,13,063 (Muslims), 84,891 (Christians); Kannur: 14,80,748 (H), 6,65,648 (M), 2,61,090 (C); Kozhikode: 16,69,161 (H), 10,78,759 (M), 1,27,468 (C); Wayanad: 3,92,141 (H), 2,09,758 (M) 1,75,495 (C); Malappuram : 10,57,418 (H), 24,84,576 (M), 1,75,495 (C); Palakkad: 18,02,766 (H), 7,03,596 (M), 1,09,249 (C); Thrissur : 17,61,842 (H), 4,88,697 (M), 7,20,152 (C); Ernakulam: 14,44,994 (H), 4,51,764 (M), 12,04,471 (C); Idukki : 5,66,744 (H), 81,222 (M), 4,80,108 (C); Kottayam: 9,63,497 (H), 1,16,686 (M), 8,71,371 (C); Alappuzha: 14,57,188 (H), 2,08,042 (M), 4,41,643 (C); Pathanamthitta: 6,94,560 (H), 56,457 (M), 4,81,602 (C); Kollam : 16,85,044 (H), 4,74,071 (M), 4,23,745 (C) and Thiruvananthapuram: 22,02,112 (H), 4,31,512 (M) and 5,95,563 (C).

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