Islam and population growth in India

The basics

Is the share of Muslim population in India increasing?[2] Yes, as can be seen from the chart.

  • The growth rates have fallen for both communities.
  • The decadal growth rate is higher for Muslims as compared to Hindus.

Do Islamic societies always have a high population growth?

Is there anything intrinsic to Islamic societies that keeps their population growth rates at high levels?[3] To answer this question, I looked at fertility rates of some countries that have a predominantly Muslim population.

What does fertility depend on?

Hans Rosling — in this video — explains that the fertility rate in a society depends primarily on childhood mortality. Parents decide to have more children if there is a danger that many of their kids would die in childbirth or at a young age. Big reductions in fertility happen when very few young children die.


  • The share of Muslim population in India has grown.
  • However, it is in the context of sharp growth of population of all religions.
  • High growth rate is not intrinsic to Islamic societies as cross country experience shows. As does the experience of Jammu and Kashmir in India.
  • Sharp fall in fertility happens with reduction in childhood mortality. Other factors are prosperity, urbanization, women’s education and availability of methods of contraception. Religiosity could contribute to a higher growth rate.



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Yogesh Upadhyaya

Yogesh Upadhyaya


Entrepreneur. Economist. Investor. Actor. Technophile. Policy wonk. Comedian. I love to explore places where these worlds intersect.