10000-plus growth in Sanskrit speakers
New Delhi: Not many Indians speak Sanskrit nowadays but the language of the gods still added 10,000 more people to its list of speakers in a span of 10 years.
In other words, the ancient language recorded a growth of over 70 per cent. That's one of the takeaways of the latest census figure of 2011.
According to the 2011 figures, released recently, 24,821 people registered Sanskrit as their mother tongue, compared with 14,135 people who had said Sanskrit was their mother tongue in 2001.
Sanskrit speakers, however, account for just 0.00198 per cent of India's total population.
According to the census figures, the country's Hindi-speaking population increased by more than 10 crore between 2001 and 2011. Hindi thus remained India's most spoken language, followed by Bengali, which added more than 1.10 crore speakers in the 2011 census compared with 2001.
Hindi-speaking people, according to the 2011 census, numbered 52.83 crore, or 43.63 per cent of the country's population.
In 2001, India's Hindi-speaking population numbered 42.2 crore.
Around 9.72 crore citizens - or 8.03 per cent of the population - speak Bengali, the second most spoken language in India.
The Bengali-speaking population numbered 8.33 crore 10 years ago, according to the census figures.
Around 8.30 crore people in the country speak Marathi, which works out to 6.86 per cent of the total population. Marathi-speakers numbered 7.19 crore in 2001.
Telugu, Tamil and Gujarati speakers number around 8.11 crore, 6.90 crore and 5.54 crore, respectively. The corresponding figures for 2001 were 7.40 crore, 6.07 crore and 4.60 crore.
The census put the number of Urdu, Kannada and Odia-speaking people as 5.07 crore, 4.37 crore and 3.75 crore, respectively, compared with 5.15 crore, 3.79 crore and 3.30 crore in 2001.
Malayalam, Punjabi and Assamese speakers numbered 3.48 crore, 3.31 crore and 1.53 crore, respectively. The corresponding figures for 2001 were 3.30 crore, 2.91 crore and 1.31 crore.