New Delhi: 41 per cent of India's population is under the age of 20 with 50 per cent being between 20-59 age group and remaining 9 per cent above 60, according to the 15th National census survey conducted by the Census Organization of India.
The data also revealed that Muslims have the highest share of children and teenagers among all religions with 47 per cent of them being below 19 years compared to 40 per cent for Hindus.
The report mentioned that every fifth person in India is an adolescent (10-19 years) and every third is a young (10-24 years). According to 2001 census, the share of the young population for the whole country was 45 per cent -- comprising 44 per cent Hindus, 52 per cent Muslims and 35 per cent for Jains.
Also there is a considerable variation in the share of the 9 per cent elderly population. However, the proportion of elderly has risen across all communities as life spans have generally increased. In the Muslim community, only 6.4 per cent of the population is above 60 years compared to 5.8 per cent in 2001. This is because Muslims die early compared to others. Jains and Sikhs share of elderly is 12 per cent while Hindus are close to all national averages because they are in the majority.
When it comes to dependency, both children and elderly are dependent on the adult population. The dependency ratio in 2011 has come down to 652 from 752 people in 2001 on every working 1,000 persons group.
Age-wise number of children up to 15 dependent on every 1,000 members of the working age population has declined from 621 in 2001 to 510 in 2011. On the other hand, the old dependency ratio in elderly group increased from 131 in 2001 to 142 in 2011.
Across the religious communities, Muslims have the highest total dependency ratio of 748 compared to the lowest ratio for Jains (498). For Hindus, the ratio is 640.
In August last year, a new Census data had claimed that Muslim population continued to grow at a faster rate than the Hindu population, but the gap between the two growth rates was narrowing fast.