Languages of India

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India is a diverse country with many dialects. Language plays an important role in uniting a diverse country like India. Hindi and English are the official languages of India.

As per Census data 2001, India has total 234 identifiable mother tongues which have returned 10,000 or more speakers each at the all-India level. These consist of 93 mother tongues grouped under the Scheduled Languages (Part A) and 141 mother tongues grouped under the Non-Scheduled languages (Part B).

India Language Map shows the different languages spoken in different parts of India.

Find below the comparative speakers’ strength of scheduled languages in India as per 2001 census.

Rank Language % speakers of India
1 Hindi 41.03
2 Bengali 8.11
3 Telugu 7.19
4 Marathi 6.99
5 Tamil 5.91
6 Urdu 5.01
7 Gujarati 4.48
8 Kannada 3.69
9 Malayalam 3.21
10 Oriya 3.21
11 Punjabi 2.83
12 Assamese 1.28
13 Maithili 1.18
14 Santali 0.63
15 Kashmiri 0.54
16 Nepali 0.28
17 Sindhi 0.25
18 Konkani 0.24
19 Dogri 0.22
20 Manipuri 0.14
21 Bodo 0.13
22 Sanskrit Negligible

Source – Census 2001, India

Table clearly shows the strength of Hindi, our national language.  After Hindi, next 10 languages account for 50% of the total strength. So the top 11 languages account for more than 90% of the language spoken by Indians.

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