Demographic Dynamics of Indigenous People in India

Sharma Lokpriy, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

India has the second largest concentration of indigenous population in the world. The objective of this paper is to outline the demographic scenario of this vulnerable group of people by using data from Census of India 1981, 1991 and 2001. For the present study, in order to have a better understanding of the demographic situation of the tribal communities, the state and territories are grouped into seven regions. There are 577 tribes in India located in five major tribal belts across the country. Indian tribes constitute about 8.2% of the national population and mostly they inhabit the central belt and the north eastern part of India. The study reaffirmed that illiteracy, higher level of dependency and poor access to the outer world makes the tribal population socially vulnerable. Nevertheless, sex ratio and work participation rate especially for women are quite high in the indigenous people of India.

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Presented in Session 136: Indigenous Peoples: Asia