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 more about the languages of India with India Language Map.

According to Ethnologue, India is considered to be home to 461 languages, out of which 14 have been reported to be extinct.

But still there is not a single Indian language that is spoken across its length and breadth. Hindi is spoken by a majority of North Indians, but it is not a popular means of communication in the southern part of India. Similarly, South Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam are not understood by the people of North India.

For the convenience of people, the Constitution of India has recognised 22 languages as the official languages of India. These are known as Scheduled Languages and constitute the major languages of the country. India Language Map provides detailed information about these languages listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution and spoken in different parts of the country.

The list of some of the Indian languages includes:

  • Sanskrit
  • Hindi
  • English
  • Gujarati - Language of Gujarat and Union Territories of Dadar and Nagar Haveli
  • Punjabi - The official language of Punjab
  • Bengali- The state language of West Bengal
  • Assamese - Official language of Assam
  • Dogri, Urdu - The language of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Oriya - The state language of state of Odisha
  • Marathi - Language of Maharashtra
  • Kannada - The official language of Karnataka
  • Tamil - The state language of Tamil Nadu
  • Telugu - It is the official language of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Malayalam - It is the official language of Kerala
  • Sindhi
  • Konkani - The state language of Goa
  • Manipuri - The official language of Manipur
  • Khasi - The official language of Meghalaya
  • Mizo - The official language of Mizoram
  • English - The official language of Nagaland

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

Besides these, there are other 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. These include Rajasthani, Haryanvi, Bhili, Gondi and Tulu among others.

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

UB020115

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 : May 14, 2015