Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
India has a population of 1,065,070,607 people (2004 estimate) living in an area of 3,287,263 square kilometers—that is approximately 2.42% of the total world area and 16% of the world's population (the second most populous country). The society consists of people from multiethnic backgrounds, including Indo-Aryan (72%); Dravidian and aboriginal descendants such as the Bhils, Gonds, and Santals (25%); and Mongoloid (3%). According to the of 2001 census, the many religions practiced in India include Hindu (82%), Muslim (12%), Christian (2%), Sikh (2%), Buddhism (1%), and Jains (0.5%). India also has Zoroastrians (or Parsis), many of whom represent the business community. The country extends from the snow-covered Himalayas in the north to the tropical rain forests in the south. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the west and the Bay of Bengal in the east. India borders Pakistan and Afghanistan in the northwest; Nepal, Bhutan, and China to ...