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June 29, 2018

Hindi mother tongue of 44% in India, Bangla second most spoken

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bengali remains the second most spoken language while Marathi has replaced Telugu in third place
  • Sanskrit was the least spoken of the country’s 22 scheduled languages
  • Tamil Nadu had the second highest number of people with English as their mother tongue, while Karnataka was a close third




The percentage of Indian population with Hindi as their mother tongue has risen to 43.63% from 41.03% in 2001, according to data on language released on Tuesday as part of Census 2011. Bengali remains the second most spoken language while Marathi has replaced Telugu in third place.
Sanskrit was the least spoken of the country's 22 scheduled languages. With just 24,821 persons
listing it as their mother tongue, it was slotted below Bodo, Manipuri, Konkani and Dogri languages in terms of number of speakers.

Among the unscheduled languages, around 2.6 lakh people listed English as their first spoken language in the 2011 census, of which 1.06 lakh were in Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu had the second highest number of people with English as their mother tongue, while Karnataka was a close third. Bhili/Bhilodi, spoken in Rajasthan, was the most spoken unscheduled language with 1.04 crore speakers, followed by Gondi with 29 lakh speakers.

While the percentage of people in India who listed Bengali as their mother tongue went up to 8.3% of the total population from 8.11% in the 2001 census, Marathi speakers as a percentage of the population grew from 6.99% in 2001 to 7.09% in 2011. Those returning Telugu as their mother tongue were down from 7.19% to 6.93%.
Urdu was ranked seventh, down from the sixth slot it occupied in 2001. Urdu speakers were down to 4.34% of the population compared to 5.01% in 2001. Gujarati, with 4.74% speakers, replaced Urdu in the sixth spot.

According to Census authorities, mother tongue is defined as the language spoken in childhood by the person's mother to the person or, where the mother has died in the person's infancy, the language mainly spoken in the person's household during childhood.

While 96.71% of the country's population returned one of the 22 scheduled languages as their mother tongue in the 2011 census, 3.29% returned other languages as their mother tongue.

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