Linguistic diversity of India

If God had so wished, he would have made all Indians speak with one language ... the unity of India has been and shall always be unity in diversity.

- Rabindranath Tagore

Linguistic diversity of India

India is one of the most diverse countries in the world in many aspects and one of them is the number of languages spoken in India. The magnitude of language diversity in India can be gauged from the fact that according to the Census of India (2011), there were 121 major languages in India with 1599 other languages. A total of 22 languages have been declared as scheduled languages as per the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

The total numbers of speakers for each language also vary greatly. There are 14 languages with more than 10 million speakers, 32 languages with more than 1 million speakers. Also most of the languages are spatially aggregated, i.e. each of these languages is concentrated in a single state, with few exceptions. As a result, many states have their own official languages.

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Data source: 2011 Census Data, Census of India.

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