Scheduled Tribe is a category under which those indigenous people come who are acknowledged by the national legislation at some formal degree. As per the Census 2011, India has over 600 tribes. Their total population in the country is 10,45,45,716 – about 8.6% of the total. Urban areas have a very little population of the STs – 1,04,61,872 people, while rural areas incorporate the bigger chunk of them – 9,40,83,844. Madhya Pradesh has the maximum ST population -15,316,784. The rural part of the state has 1,42,76,874 people, while the urban part has 10,39,910 many people of ST.
Other states with sizeable population of STs are Orissa (9,590,756), Maharashtra (10,510,213), Rajasthan (9,238,534), Chhattisgarh (7,822,902), Gujarat (8,917,174), Jharkhand (8,645,042), Andhra Pradesh (5,918,073), and West Bengal (5,296,953).
The total ST male population in the country is 5,25,47,215, while that of female is 5,19,98,501. In Madhya Pradesh, the total ST male population in the state is 7,719,404 and that of the female is 7,597,380. The states for which sex ratio is tilted in the favour of females are Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Goa.
The Census dictates the literacy rate in the country is 74.04%. For STs, it is below 60%. In Madhya Pradesh, the total literate ST population is 63,13,661, out of the total 15,316,784. Mizoram is one state where ST population registers a high literacy rate – 8,01,259 are literate out of the total 10,36,115. Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, reports very low literacy rate among ST population. Out of the total 59,18,073 people -less than half – 25,32,727 people are literate.
The major tribes in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are Halba, Korwa, Saharia, Bhil, Agaria, Bhattra, Parja, Baiga, Gond, Dandami, Muria, Hill Maria, and more. In Odisha, the popular tribes are Kandh, Zuang, Karia, Khond, Sawara, etc. In Rajasthan, the major tribes are Garasia, Kathoria, Meena, Bhil etc. Tamaria, Kharia, Oraon, Birhor, Ho, Munda, Paharia, Santhal, and more are significant in Jharkhand.