Languages in India

Indian Languages Map in Flash

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India, a potpourri of different cultures, religions, and beliefs, is home to not just one or two languages but to an uncountable number of different lingual families. Languages belonging to the two major language families - Indo Aryan and Dravidian - are spoken by more than 90% of the people of India. Know about the languages of India with India Language Map.

According to Ethnologue, India is considered to be the home to 398 languages out of which 11 have been reported extinct. But still there is not a single Indian language which is spoken across its length and breadth. Hindi is spoken by the majority of North Indians but it's not a popular means of communication in southern part of India. Similarly south Indian languages - Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam - are not understood by the people of northern India. For the convenience of people, the Constitution of India has recognized 22 languages as official languages of India. These are known as Scheduled Languages and constitute the Major languages of India. India Language Map provides detailed information about these languages listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution.

Urdu and Telugu are also the official languages of the newly formed state, Telangana.

Besides these, there are Indian languages which are spoken by large masses but have still not acquired the status of Scheduled Languages of India. These languages spoken by regional people are known as regional languages of India. This includes Rajasthani, Bihari, Haryanavi, Bhili, Gondi, Tulu among others.

Some Indian languages are not widely spoken; they are given the status of minority languages. Mahl and Portuguese languages come under this category.

List by number of native speakers in India



The 2001 census recorded 29 individual languages as having more than 1 million native speakers

RankLanguage2001 census
  SpeakersPercentage
1Hindi languages422,048,64241.03%
2Bengali83,369,7698.11%
3Telugu74,002,8567.19%
4Marathi71,936,8946.99%
5Tamil60,793,8145.91%
6Urdu51,536,1115.01%
7Gujarati46,091,6174.48%
8Kannada37,924,0113.69%
9Malayalam33,066,3923.21%
10Oriya33,017,4463.21%
11Punjabi29,102,4772.83%
12Assamese13,168,4841.28%
13Maithili12,179,1221.18%
14Bhili/Bhilodi9,582,9570.93%
15Santali6,469,6000.63%
16Kashmiri5,527,6980.54%
17Nepali2,871,7490.28%
18Gondi2,713,7900.26%
19Sindhi2,535,4850.25%
20Konkani2,489,0150.24%
21Dogri2,282,5890.22%
22Khandeshi2,075,2580.21%
23Kurukh1,751,4890.17%
24Tulu1,722,7680.17%
25Meitei/Manipuri1,466,705*0.14%
26Bodo1,350,4780.13%
27Khasi1,128,5750.11%
28Mundari1,061,3520.10%
29Ho1,042,7240.10%


Scheduled Languages in descending order of speaker's strength - 2001



S. No.LanguagePersons who returned the language as their mother tonguePercentage to total population
1 Hindi422,048,64241.03
2 Bengali83,369,7698.11
3 Telugu74,002,8567.19
4 Marathi71,936,8946.99
5 Tamil60,793,8145.91
6 Urdu51,536,1115.01
7 Gujarati46,091,6174.48
8 Kannada37,924,0113.69
9 Malayalam33,066,3923.21
10 Oriya33,017,4463.21
11 Punjabi29,102,4772.83
12 Assamese13,168,4841.28
13 Maithili12,179,1221.18
14 Santali6,469,6000.63
15 Kashmiri5,527,6980.54
16 Nepali2,871,7490.28
17 Sindhi2,535,4850.25
18 Konkani2,489,0150.24
19 Dogri2,282,5890.22
20 Manipuri *1,466,7050.14
21 Bodo1,350,4780.13
22 Sanskrit14,135N


States official languages



SL NOSTATESOfficial LanguagesAdditional Official Languages
1Andhra PradeshTeluguUrdu
2Arunachal PradeshEnglish 
3AssamAssamese 
4BiharHindiUrdu
5ChhattisgarhHindi 
6GoaKonkaniMarathi
7GujaratGujarati 
8HaryanaHindi 
9Himachal PradeshHindiEnglish
10Jammu and KashmirUrdu 
11JharkhandHindiUrdu
12KarnatakaKannada 
13KeralaMalayalam 
14Madhya PradeshHindi 
15MaharashtraMarathi 
16ManipurManipuriEnglish
17MeghalayaEnglishKhasi
18MizoramMizo, English, Hindi 
19NagalandEnglish 
20OdishaOdia 
21PunjabPunjabi (in Gurumukhi Script) 
22RajasthanHindiEnglish
23SikkimEnglish 
24Tamil NaduTamilEnglish
25TelanganaTelugu and Urdu 
26TripuraBengali, Kokborok and English 
27Uttar PradeshHindiUrdu
28UttarakhandHindi 
29West BengalBengali Hindi, Urdu, Santhali, Oriya and Punjabi, Nepali
SL NOUnion TerritoryOfficial LanguagesOther officially recognised languages
1Andaman and Nicobar IslandsEnglish, Hindi 
2ChandigarhEnglishPunjabi and Hindi
3Dadra and Nagar HaveliHindi and Gujarati Marathi
4Daman and DiuKonkani and Gujarati 
5DelhiHindiPunjabi, Urdu
6LakshadweepEnglishHindi
7PuducherryTamil, EnglishMalayalam and Telugu


SOURCES:
50th REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR LINGUISTIC MINORITIES IN INDIA (July 2012 to June 2013)
http://nclm.nic.in/shared/linkimages/ NCLM50thReport.pdf

Other local languages and dialects



The 2001 census identified the following native languages having more than one million speakers. All of them are dialects/variants grouped under Hindi or Oriya

sl nostatespeakers
1Bhojpuri33,099,497
2Rajasthani18,355,613
3Magadh/Magahi13,978,565
4Chhattisgarhi13,260,186
5Haryanvi7,997,192
6Marwari7,936,183
7Malvi5,565,167
8Mewari5,091,697
9Khorth/Khotta4,725,927
10Bundeli/Bundelkhan3,072,147
11Bagheli/Baghel Khan2,865,011
12Pahari2,832,825
13Laman/Lambadi2,707,562
14Awadhi2,529,308
15Harauti2,462,867
16Garhwali2,267,314
17Nimadi2,148,146
18Sadan/Sadri2,044,776
19Kumauni2,003,783
20Dhundhari1,871,130
21Surgujia1,458,533
22Bagri Rajasthani1,434,123
23Banjari1,259,821
24Nagpuria (Varhadi)1,242,586
25Surajpuri1,217,019
26Kangri1,122,843


Last updated on : January 13, 2015