Monday, January 30, 2006

India: demographics and background from CIA.gov


Saris
Originally uploaded by Tampen.

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. Arab incursions starting in the 8th century and Turkish in the 12th were followed by those of European traders, beginning in the late 15th century. By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all Indian lands. Indian armed forces in the British army played a vital role in both World Wars. Nonviolent resistance to British colonialism led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU brought independence in 1947. The subcontinent was divided into the secular state of India and the smaller Muslim state of Pakistan. A third war between the two countries in 1971 resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. Despite impressive gains in economic investment and output, India faces pressing problems such as the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty, and ethnic and religious strife.


slightly more than one-third the size of the US

border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km


Climate varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north.

Terrain: upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north.

Natural resources: coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land.


Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan
Geographic coordinates:

20 00 N, 77 00 E
Map references:

Asia
Area:

total: 3,287,590 sq km
land: 2,973,190 sq km
water: 314,400 sq km
Area - comparative:

slightly more than one-third the size of the US
Land boundaries:

total: 14,103 km
border countries: Bangladesh 4,053 km, Bhutan 605 km, Burma 1,463 km, China 3,380 km, Nepal 1,690 km, Pakistan 2,912 km
Coastline:

7,000 km
Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:

varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north
Terrain:

upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north
Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,598 m
Natural resources:

coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land
Land use:

arable land: 54.4%
permanent crops: 2.74%
other: 42.86% (2001)
Irrigated land:


Natural hazards: droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes.

Population: 1,080,264,388 (July 2005 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 31.2% (male 173,634,432/female 163,932,475)
15-64 years: 63.9% (male 356,932,082/female 333,283,590)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 26,542,025/female 25,939,784) (2005 est.)

Median age:
total: 24.66 years
male: 24.64 years
female: 24.67 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.4% (2005 est.)

Birth rate: 22.32 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate: 8.28 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis are high risks in some locations.

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.9% (2001 est..)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 5.1 million (2001 est.).

Ethnic groups:
Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3% (2000)

Religions:
Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 census)

Languages:
English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language.

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.5%
male: 70.2%
female: 48.3% (2003 est.).

Economy - overview:

India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for half of India's output with less than one quarter of its labor force. About two-thirds of the workforce is in agriculture, leading the UPA government to articulate an economic reform program that includes developing basic infrastructure to improve the lives of the rural poor and boost economic performance. Government controls on foreign trade and investment have been reduced in some areas, but high tariffs (averaging 20% on non-agricultural items in 2004) and limits on foreign direct investment are still in place. The government in 2005 liberalized investment in the civil aviation, telecom, and construction sectors. Privatization of government-owned industries essentially came to a halt in 2005, and continues to generate political debate; continued social, political, and economic rigidities hold back needed initiatives. The economy has posted an excellent average growth rate of more than 6.8% in the decade since 1994, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points. India probably achieved greater than 7 percent GDP growth in 2005, significantly expanding manufacturing. India is capitalizing on its large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language to become a major exporter of software services and software workers. Despite strong growth, the World Bank and others worry about the combined state and federal budget deficit, running at approximately 9% of GDP. The huge and growing population is the fundamental social, economic, and environmental problem.


GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,400 (2005 est.).

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 60%, industry 17%, services 23% (1999)

Unemployment rate: 9% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line: 25% (2002 est.)

Agriculture - products: rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish.

Industries: textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software.

Exports - partners: US 17%, UAE 8.8%, China 5.5%, Hong Kong 4.7%, UK 4.5%, Singapore 4.5% (2004)

Imports - partners: China 6.1%, US 6%, Switzerland 5.2%, Belgium 4.4% (2004)

Internet users: 18.481 million (2003)

Illicit drugs: world's largest producer of licit opium for the pharmaceutical trade, but an undetermined quantity of opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets; transit point for illicit narcotics produced in neighboring countries; illicit producer of methaqualone; vulnerable to narcotics money laundering through the hawala system.

Disputes - international: China and India launched a security and foreign policy dialogue in 2005, consolidating discussions related to the dispute over most of their rugged, militarized boundary, regional nuclear proliferation, Indian claims that China transferred missiles to Pakistan, and other matters; recent talks and confidence-building measures have begun to defuse tensions over Kashmir, site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas); in 2004, India and Pakistan instituted a cease fire in the Kashmir and in 2005, restored bus service across the highly militarized Line of Control; Pakistan has taken its dispute on the impact and benefits of India's building the Baglihar dam on the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir to the World Bank for arbitration.

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