Top 10 Most Spoken Languages in India by Number of Speakers

Most spoken languages in India: India is a diverse country with hundreds of languages spoken by its people. According to the 2011 Census of India, there are 22 languages that are officially recognized by the constitution as “Scheduled Languages”. However, there are many more languages that are spoken by the Indian population, some of which are not even classified yet.

– The most spoken languages in India are based on the number of native speakers and the percentage of the total population.

– According to the 2011 Census of India, the following are the 10 most spoken languages in India:

– Hindi: 528,347,193 speakers (43.63% of the population)

– Bengali: 97,237,669 speakers (8.03% of the population)

– Marathi: 83,026,680 speakers (6.86% of the population)

– Telugu: 81,127,740 speakers (6.70% of the population)

– Tamil: 69,026,881 speakers (5.70% of the population)

– Gujarati: 55,492,554 speakers (4.58% of the population)

– Urdu: 50,772,631 speakers (4.19% of the population)

– Kannada: 43,706,512 speakers (3.61% of the population)

– Odia: 37,521,324 speakers (3.10% of the population)

– Malayalam: 34,838,819 speakers (2.88% of the population)

– India has a high linguistic diversity with over 400 languages spoken by its people.

– The official language of India is Hindi in Devanagari script and English is used as an additional official language for communication between the central and state governments.

1. Hindi – Most spoken languages in India

The most widely spoken languages in India is Hindi, which is also the official language of the union along with English. Hindi belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family and has many dialects and varieties. About 41% of Indians speak Hindi as their first language and another 12% speak it as their second language.

2. Bengali

The second most spoken languages in India is Bengali, which belongs to the same language family as Hindi. Bengali is mainly spoken in the eastern states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam, as well as in neighboring Bangladesh. About 8% of Indians speak Bengali as their first language and another 1% speak it as their second language.

Marathi –

The third most spoken languages in India is Marathi, which is also an Indo-Aryan language. Marathi is mainly spoken in the western state of Maharashtra and some neighboring areas. About 7% of Indians speak Marathi as their first language and another 1% speak it as their second language.

Telegu –

The fourth most spoken languages in India is Telugu, which belongs to the Dravidian language family. Telugu is mainly spoken in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, as well as in some parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Odisha. About 7% of Indians speak Telugu as their first language and another 1% speak it as their second language.

Tamil –

The fifth most spoken languages in India is Tamil, which is also a Dravidian language. Tamil is mainly spoken in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and some neighboring areas, as well as in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. About 6% of Indians speak Tamil as their first language and another 1% speak it as their second language.

Gujarati –

The sixth most spoken languages in India is Gujarati, which is another Indo-Aryan language. Gujarati is mainly spoken in the western state of Gujarat and some neighboring areas, as well as in Pakistan and many countries around the world where Gujarati diaspora live. About 5% of Indians speak Gujarati as their first language and another 1% speak it as their second language.

Urdu –

The seventh most spoken languages in India is Urdu, which is closely related to Hindi but written in a different script. Urdu is mainly spoken by the Muslim community in India, especially in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, as well as in Pakistan and many other countries where Urdu speakers live. About 4% of Indians speak Urdu as their first language and another 2% speak it as their second language.

Kannada –

The eighth most spoken language in India is Kannada, which is also a Dravidian language. Kannada is mainly spoken in the southern state of Karnataka and some neighboring areas, as well as in Goa, Maharashtra and Kerala. About 4% of Indians speak Kannada as their first language and another 1% speak it as their second language.

Odia –

The ninth most spoken language in India is Odia, which is also an Indo-Aryan language. Odia is mainly spoken in the eastern state of Odisha and some neighboring areas, as well as in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. About 3% of Indians speak Odia as their first language and another 0.03% speak it as their second language.

Malayalam –

The tenth most spoken language in India is Malayalam, which is also a Dravidian language. Malayalam is mainly spoken in the southern state of Kerala and some neighboring areas, as well as in Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Andaman, and Nicobar Islands. About 3% of Indians speak Malayalam as their first language and another 0.02% speak it as their second language.

N.B. Data was collected from various sources, Census data, and the Internet.1

Conclusion

To conclude, India is a multilingual country with a rich linguistic diversity. According to the 2011 census, the most spoken languages in India are:

  • Hindi: 43.63% of the population
  • Bengali: 8.03%
  • Telugu: 6.93%
  • Marathi: 6.86%
  • Tamil: 5.69%
  • Urdu: 5.01%
  • Gujarati: 4.74%
  • Kannada: 3.73%
  • Odia: 3.21%
  • Malayalam: 2.97%

These languages reflect the cultural and historical heritage of India, as well as the influence of various regions, religions and communities. They also contribute to the richness and diversity of Indian literature, art, music and cinema.

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  1. N.B. Data was collected from various sources, Census data, and the Internet. ↩ī¸Ž

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