New Delhi: According to the data of 2011 census released on Friday the size of Indian families is declining and the steepest decline is recorded among Muslim families. Decline in Muslim family size may have a positive co-relation with rising literacy levels in the community.
A year ago government had released religion-wise population figures of census 2011.
The latest date reveals that India’s average family size has dropped from 4.67 members in 2001 to 4.45 members in 2011. It translates into a drop of 5.3%.
Among Muslims the average family size fell from 5.61 to 5.15. Bifurcating the data further it was revealed that the drop in family size was 11.1% — for Muslim households headed by men and it was 4.47% among Muslim households headed by women.
The above official census data has trashed the phobic claims of Hindu right wing that Indian Muslims have large families and higher population growth rate due to which the minority community will overtake the majority community numerically.
Right wingers like BJP parliamentarian Sakshi Maharaj and Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Sadhvi Prachi are known to have strongly advised Hindu women to have four or more children in order to successfully compete with the Muslim population flare-up.
According last year’s population data on basis of religion, Muslim community grew by 24.6% between 2001 and 2011. The population of Muslims in India is 17.22 crore, which makes for 14.2% of India’s total population (121 Crore). Hindu population is 96.63 crore making for 79.8% of total population.
The data shows the decline in average size of households from 2001-11 to be 7.44% for Sikh households, 6.47% for Christian households, 5.96% for Buddhist households, 5.5%. for Jain households and 5.02% for Hindu households.
As noted without exception across all religious communities the average household size was higher in male headed households than females headed households.
Female headed households were highest among Christians (17.4%) followed next by Buddhist (15.9%). The lowest percentage of female headed households is in Jain community (11.5%).
The data released on Friday busted the myth of high variability between household sizes in different communities. It showed that all communities had more or less similar average family sizes. The difference in community wise average family size has been narrowed further by continuous drop in population.
The average family size in 2011 was 4.35 among Hindus, 5.15 among Muslims, 4.05 among Christians, 4 among Sikhs, 4.1 among Buddhist and 4.4 among Jains.
In 2001 an average Muslim family had 1.03 persons more than an average Hindu family. In 2011 this difference came down to an average Muslim family having just 0.8 persons more than an average Hindu household.
—-With PTI inputs.