Photos of India

A view inside a mango grove. Mangos have been cultivated in India for more than 5,000 years and are the country's national fruit. India is the top mango producer in the world.

Introduction

Background

The Indus Valley civilization, one of the world's oldest, flourished during the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. and extended into northwestern India. Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent about 1500 B.C.; their merger with the earlier Dravidian inhabitants created the classical Indian culture. The Maurya Empire of the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. -- which reached its zenith under ASHOKA -- united much of South Asia. The Gupta dynasty (4th to 6th centuries A.D.) ushered in The Golden Age, which saw a flowering of Indian science, art, and culture. Islam spread across the subcontinent over a period of 700 years. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Turks and Afghans invaded India and established the Delhi Sultanate. In the early 16th century, the Emperor BABUR established the Mughal Dynasty, which ruled large sections of India for more than three centuries. European explorers began establishing footholds in India during the 16th century.

By the 19th century, Great Britain had become the dominant political power on the subcontinent, and India was seen as the "Jewel in the Crown" of the British Empire. The British Indian Army played a vital role in both World Wars. Years of nonviolent resistance to British rule, led by Mohandas GANDHI and Jawaharlal NEHRU, eventually resulted in Indian independence in 1947. Large-scale communal violence took place before and after the subcontinent partition into two separate states -- India and Pakistan. The neighboring countries have fought three wars since independence, the last of which was in 1971 and resulted in East Pakistan becoming the separate nation of Bangladesh. India's nuclear weapons tests in 1998 emboldened Pakistan to conduct its own tests that same year. In 2008, terrorists originating from Pakistan conducted a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India's financial capital. India's economic growth after economic reforms in 1991, a massive youth population, and a strategic geographic location have contributed to the country's emergence as a regional and global power. However, India still faces pressing problems such as extensive poverty, widespread corruption, and environmental degradation, and its restrictive business climate challenges economic growth expectations.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan

Geographic coordinates

20 00 N, 77 00 E

Area

total: 3,287,263 sq km

land: 2,973,193 sq km

water: 314,070 sq km

comparison ranking: total 8

Area - comparative

slightly more than one-third the size of the US

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 13,888 km

border countries (6): Bangladesh 4,142 km; Bhutan 659 km; Burma 1,468 km; China 2,659 km; Nepal 1,770 km; Pakistan 3,190 km

Coastline

7,000 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate

varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

Terrain

upland plain (Deccan Plateau) in south, flat to rolling plain along the Ganges, deserts in west, Himalayas in north

Elevation

highest point: Kanchenjunga 8,586 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 160 m

Natural resources

coal (fourth-largest reserves in the world), antimony, iron ore, lead, manganese, mica, bauxite, rare earth elements, titanium ore, chromite, natural gas, diamonds, petroleum, limestone, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 60.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 52.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 23.1% (2018 est.)

other: 16.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

715,539 sq km (2020)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Chilika Lake - 1,170 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Brahmaputra (shared with China [s] and Bangladesh [m]) - 3,969 km; Indus (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 3,610 km; Ganges river source (shared with Bangladesh [m]) - 2,704 km; Godavari - 1,465 km; Sutlej (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 1,372 km; Yamuna - 1,370 km; Narmada - 1,289 km; Chenab river source (shared with Pakistan [m]) - 1,086 km; Ghaghara river mouth (shared with China [s] and Nepal) - 1,080 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Brahmaputra (651,335 sq km), Ganges (1,016,124 sq km), Indus (1,081,718 sq km), Irrawaddy (413,710 sq km)

Major aquifers

Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin

Population distribution

with the notable exception of the deserts in the northwest, including the Thar Desert, and the mountain fringe in the north, a very high population density exists throughout most of the country; the core of the population is in the north along the banks of the Ganges, with other river valleys and southern coastal areas also having large population concentrations

Natural hazards

droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes

volcanism: Barren Island (354 m) in the Andaman Sea has been active in recent years

Geography - note

dominates South Asian subcontinent; near important Indian Ocean trade routes; Kanchenjunga, third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border with Nepal

People and Society

Population

total: 1,409,128,296

male: 725,784,825

female: 683,343,471 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 2; male 1; total 2

Nationality

noun: Indian(s)

adjective: Indian

Ethnic groups

Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, and other 3% (2000)

Languages

Hindi 43.6%, Bengali 8%, Marathi 6.9%, Telugu 6.7%, Tamil 5.7%, Gujarati 4.6%, Urdu 4.2%, Kannada 3.6%, Odia 3.1%, Malayalam 2.9%, Punjabi 2.7%, Assamese 1.3%, Maithili 1.1%, other 5.6%; note - English enjoys the status of subsidiary official language but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; there are 22 other officially recognized languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language (2011 est.)

major-language sample(s):

विश्व फ़ैक्टबुक, आधारभूत जानकारी का एक अनिवार्य स्रोत (Hindi)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Religions

Hindu 79.8%, Muslim 14.2%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.7%, other and unspecified 2% (2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.5% (male 181,115,052/female 163,647,028)

15-64 years: 68.7% (male 500,568,593/female 467,593,781)

65 years and over: 6.8% (2024 est.) (male 44,101,180/female 52,102,662)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 48.1

youth dependency ratio: 38.1

elderly dependency ratio: 10.1

potential support ratio: 9.9 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 29.8 years (2024 est.)

male: 29.1 years

female: 30.5 years

comparison ranking: total 142

Population growth rate

0.72% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 121

Birth rate

16.2 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 98

Death rate

9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 56

Net migration rate

0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 77

Population distribution

with the notable exception of the deserts in the northwest, including the Thar Desert, and the mountain fringe in the north, a very high population density exists throughout most of the country; the core of the population is in the north along the banks of the Ganges, with other river valleys and southern coastal areas also having large population concentrations

Urbanization

urban population: 36.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

32.941 million NEW DELHI (capital), 21.297 million Mumbai, 15.333 million Kolkata, 13.608 million Bangalore, 11.776 million Chennai, 10.801 million Hyderabad (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.2 years (2019/21)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

103 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 68

Infant mortality rate

total: 30.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 30 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 30.8 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 49

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 68.2 years (2024 est.)

male: 66.5 years

female: 70.1 years

comparison ranking: total population 190

Total fertility rate

2.03 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 101

Gross reproduction rate

0.97 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 96.9% of population

rural: 94.7% of population

total: 95.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.1% of population

rural: 5.3% of population

total: 4.5% of population (2020 est.)

Physician density

0.74 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.5 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.6% of population

rural: 75.2% of population

total: 83.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population

rural: 24.8% of population

total: 16.6% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria

water contact diseases: leptospirosis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

3.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 189

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 3.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.23 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.85 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 111

Tobacco use

total: 27.2% (2020 est.)

male: 41.3% (2020 est.)

female: 13% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 40

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

31.5% (2019/21)

comparison ranking: 5

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 4.8%

women married by age 18: 23.3%

men married by age 18: 2.6% (2021 est.)

Education expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 100

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 74.4%

male: 82.4%

female: 65.8% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2020)

Environment

Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources; preservation and quality of forests; biodiversity loss

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Climate

varies from tropical monsoon in south to temperate in north

Land use

agricultural land: 60.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 52.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 3.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 23.1% (2018 est.)

other: 16.4% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 36.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 2.33% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.14% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 103

Revenue from coal

1.15% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 4

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 50.17 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 2,407.67 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 559.11 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 168,403,240 tons (2001 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 8,420,162 tons (2013 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 5% (2013 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

salt water lake(s): Chilika Lake - 1,170 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Brahmaputra (shared with China [s] and Bangladesh [m]) - 3,969 km; Indus (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 3,610 km; Ganges river source (shared with Bangladesh [m]) - 2,704 km; Godavari - 1,465 km; Sutlej (shared with China [s] and Pakistan [m]) - 1,372 km; Yamuna - 1,370 km; Narmada - 1,289 km; Chenab river source (shared with Pakistan [m]) - 1,086 km; Ghaghara river mouth (shared with China [s] and Nepal) - 1,080 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Brahmaputra (651,335 sq km), Ganges (1,016,124 sq km), Indus (1,081,718 sq km), Irrawaddy (413,710 sq km)

Major aquifers

Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 56 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 17 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 688 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

1.91 trillion cubic meters (2019 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of India

conventional short form: India

local long form: Republic of India (English)/ Bharatiya Ganarajya (Hindi)

local short form: India (English)/ Bharat (Hindi)

etymology: the English name derives from the Indus River; the Indian name "Bharat" may derive from the "Bharatas" tribe mentioned in the Vedas of the second millennium B.C.; the name is also associated with Emperor Bharata, the legendary conqueror of all of India

Government type

federal parliamentary republic

Capital

name: New Delhi

geographic coordinates: 28 36 N, 77 12 E

time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the city's name is associated with various myths and legends; the original name for the city may have been Dhilli or Dhillika; alternatively, the name could be a corruption of the Hindustani words "dehleez" or "dehali" - both terms meaning "threshold" or "gateway" - and indicative of the city as a gateway to the Gangetic Plain; after the British decided to move the capital of their Indian Empire from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, they created a new governmental district south of the latter designated as New Delhi; the new capital was not formally inaugurated until 1931

Administrative divisions

28 states and 8 union territories*; Andaman and Nicobar Islands*, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh*, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu*, Delhi*, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir*, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh*, Lakshadweep*, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry*, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal

note: although its status is that of a union territory, the official name of Delhi is National Capital Territory of Delhi

Independence

15 August 1947 (from the UK)

National holiday

Republic Day, 26 January (1950)

Constitution

history: previous 1935 (preindependence); latest draft completed 4 November 1949, adopted 26 November 1949, effective 26 January 1950

amendments: proposed by either the Council of States or the House of the People; passage requires majority participation of the total membership in each house and at least two-thirds majority of voting members of each house, followed by assent of the president of India; proposed amendments to the constitutional amendment procedures also must be ratified by at least one half of the India state legislatures before presidential assent; amended many times, last in 2023

Legal system

common law system based on the English model; separate personal law codes apply to Muslims, Christians, and Hindus; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of India

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Droupadi MURMU (since 25 July 2022)

head of government: Prime Minister Narendra MODI (since 26 May 2014)

cabinet: Union Council of Ministers recommended by the prime minister, appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 18 July 2022 (next to be held in July 2027); vice president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 5 August 2022 (next to be held in August 2027); following legislative elections, the prime minister is elected by Lok Sabha members of the majority party

election results:
2022: Droupadi MURMU elected president; percent of electoral college vote - Droupadi MURMU (BJP) 64%, Yashwant SINHA (AITC) 35.9%; Jagdeep DHANKHAR elected vice president; percent of electoral college vote - Jagdeep DHANKHAR (BJP) 74.4%, Margaret ALVA (INC) 25.6%

2017: Ram Nath KOVIND elected president; percent of electoral college vote - Ram Nath KOVIND (BJP) 65.6%, Meira KUMAR (INC) 34.4%; Venkaiah NAIDU elected vice president; percent of electoral college vote - Venkaiah NAIDU (BJP) 67.9%, Gopal-krishna GANDHI 32.1%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Sansad consists of:
Council of States or Rajya Sabha (245 seats; 233 members indirectly elected by state and territorial assemblies by proportional representation vote and 12 members appointed by the president; members serve 6-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 2 years at various dates)
House of the People or Lok Sabha (545 seats; 543 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 2 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Council of States - held by state and territorial assemblies being held from 12 January to 30 June 2024 for expiry of 68 seats

House of the People - last held in 7 phases from 19 April to 1 June 2024 (next to be held in 2027)

election results: Council of States (2022) - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BJP 97, INC 34, AITC 13, DMK 10, other 2, independent 2; composition as of March 2024 - men 206, women 32, percentage women 13.8%

House of the People - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BJP 240, INC 99, SP 37, AITC 29, DMK 22, BJD 12, RJD 4, AAP 3, other 93

seats by party - BJP 303, INC 52, DMK 24, AITC 22, YSRCP 22, SS 18, JDU 16, BJD 12, BSP 10, TRS 9, LJP 6, NCP 5, SP 5, other 35, independent 4, vacant 2; composition as of March 2024 - men 446, women 77, percentage women 14.7%; total Parliament percentage women 14.3%

note: in late September 2023, both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha passed a bill that reserves one third of the House seats for women; implementation could begin for the House election in 2029

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 28 judges, including the chief justice)

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president to serve until age 65

subordinate courts: High Courts; District Courts; Labour Court

Political parties and leaders

Aam Aadmi Party or AAP [Arvind KEJRIWAL]
All India Trinamool Congress or AITC [Mamata BANERJEE]
Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP [MAYAWATI]
Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP [Jagat Prakash NADDA]
Biju Janata Dal or BJD [Naveen PATNAIK]
Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI(M) [Sitaram YECHURY]
Dravida Munnetra Khazhagam [Muthuvel Karunanidhi STALIN]
Indian National Congress or INC [Mallikarjun KHARGE]
Nationalist Congress Party or NCP [Sharad PAWAR]
Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD [Lalu Prasad YADAV]
Samajwadi Party or SP [Akhilesh YADAV]
Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD [Sukhbir Singh BADAL]
Shiv Sena or SS [Uddhav THACKERAY]
Telegana Rashtra Samithi or TRS [K. Chandrashekar RAO]
Telugu Desam Party or TDP [N. Chandrababu NAIDU]
YSR Congress or YSRCP or YCP [Y.S. Jaganmohan REDDY]

International organization participation

ADB, AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, CERN (observer), CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-15, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), Quad, SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSOM, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Sripriya RANGANATHAN (since 1 February 2024)

chancery: 2107 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-7000

FAX: [1] (202) 265-4351

email address and website:
hoc.washington@mea.gov.in

https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Eric M. GARCETTI (since 11 May 2023)

embassy: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi - 110021

mailing address: 9000 New Delhi Place, Washington DC  20521-9000

telephone: [91] (11) 2419-8000

FAX: [91] (11) 2419-0017

email address and website:
acsnd@state.gov

https://in.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Chennai (Madras), Hyderabad, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay)

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of saffron (subdued orange) (top), white, and green, with a blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) centered in the white band; saffron represents courage, sacrifice, and the spirit of renunciation; white signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility; the blue chakra symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation

note: similar to the flag of Niger, which has a small orange disk centered in the white band

National symbol(s)

the Lion Capital of Ashoka, which depicts four Asiatic lions standing back to back mounted on a circular abacus, is the official emblem; Bengal tiger; lotus flower; national colors: saffron, white, green

National anthem

name: "Jana-Gana-Mana" (Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People)

lyrics/music: Rabindranath TAGORE

note: adopted 1950; Rabindranath TAGORE, a Nobel laureate, also wrote Bangladesh's national anthem

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 42 (34 cultural, 7 natural, 1 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Taj Mahal (c); Red Fort Complex (c); Ellora Caves (c); Hill Forts of Rajasthan (c); Sundarbans National Park (n); Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (c); Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (c); Dholavira: A Harappan City (c); Jaipur (c); Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (c); Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (n); Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (n); Khangchendzonga National Park (m)

Economy

Economic overview

largest South Asian economy; still informal domestic economies; COVID-19 reversed both economic growth and poverty reduction; credit access weaknesses contributing to lower private consumption and inflation; new social and infrastructure equity efforts

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$10.079 trillion (2022 est.)
$9.399 trillion (2021 est.)
$8.619 trillion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 3

Real GDP growth rate

7.24% (2022 est.)
9.05% (2021 est.)
-5.83% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 39

Real GDP per capita

$7,100 (2022 est.)
$6,700 (2021 est.)
$6,200 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 157

GDP (official exchange rate)

$3.417 trillion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.7% (2022 est.)
5.13% (2021 est.)
6.62% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 105

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB- (2006)

Moody's rating: Baa3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2007)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 15.4% (2016 est.)

industry: 23% (2016 est.)

services: 61.5% (2016 est.)

comparison rankings: services 110; industry 123; agriculture 63

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 59.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 11.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 28.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3.9% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 19.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -22% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugarcane, rice, milk, wheat, bison milk, potatoes, vegetables, bananas, maize, onions (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software, pharmaceuticals

Industrial production growth rate

4.38% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 70

Labor force

554.145 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 2

Unemployment rate

4.82% (2022 est.)
6.38% (2021 est.)
7.86% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 97

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 28.3% (2021 est.)

male: 28.6%

female: 26.7%

comparison ranking: total 46

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

34.2 (2021 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 108

Average household expenditures

on food: 32.1% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 2.2% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.5%

highest 10%: 27.8% (2021 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

3.26% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.84% of GDP (2021 est.)
3.11% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $495.007 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $818.94 billion (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 145

Public debt

46.52% of GDP (2018 est.)
47.58% of GDP (2017 est.)
47.63% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 119

Taxes and other revenues

12.02% (of GDP) (2018 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 171

Current account balance

-$79.051 billion (2022 est.)
-$33.422 billion (2021 est.)
$32.73 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 205

Exports

$767.643 billion (2022 est.)
$643.08 billion (2021 est.)
$484.691 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 10

Exports - partners

US 18%, UAE 7%, Netherlands 4%, China 3%, Bangladesh 3% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, diamonds, packaged medicine, garments, jewelry (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$902.304 billion (2022 est.)
$717.119 billion (2021 est.)
$493.033 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 7

Imports - partners

China 15%, UAE 7%, US 7%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Russia 6% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, coal, gold, natural gas, diamonds (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$567.298 billion (2022 est.)
$638.485 billion (2021 est.)
$590.227 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 7

Debt - external

$555.388 billion (2019 est.)
$518.34 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 23

Exchange rates

Indian rupees (INR) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
78.604 (2022 est.)
73.918 (2021 est.)
74.1 (2020 est.)
70.42 (2019 est.)
68.389 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 99.2% (2022 est.)

electrification - urban areas: 100%

electrification - rural areas: 99.3%

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 487.407 million kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 1.463 trillion kWh (2022 est.)

exports: 9.574 billion kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 9.127 billion kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 296.958 billion kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 210; imports 27; exports 24; consumption 3; installed generating capacity 3

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 76.1% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

nuclear: 2.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 5.2% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

wind: 4.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 9.9% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.9% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

Nuclear energy

Number of operational nuclear reactors: 20 (2023)

Number of nuclear reactors under construction: 7 (2023)

Net capacity of operational nuclear reactors: 6.92GW (2023 est.)

Percent of total electricity production: 3.1% (2023 est.)

Coal

production: 985.671 million metric tons (2022 est.)

consumption: 1.2 billion metric tons (2022 est.)

exports: 1.775 million metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: 215.649 million metric tons (2022 est.)

proven reserves: 111.052 billion metric tons (2022 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 795,000 bbl/day (2023 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 5.049 million bbl/day (2022 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 4.605 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 33.17 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

consumption: 58.867 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

exports: 91.921 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 27.446 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

proven reserves: 1.381 trillion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

2.805 billion metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 2.067 billion metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 620.731 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 117.577 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 3

Energy consumption per capita

24.793 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 124

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 27.45 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 8

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 1.143 billion (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 81 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 2

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: India’s telecommunications sector has struggled for growth over the last five years; the sector’s lackluster performance has been in spite of concerted efforts by the government to bolster the underlying infrastructure in a bid to achieve universal coverage; instead, the country’s relatively liberal regulatory environment has encouraged fierce competition and price wars among the operators; State-owned as well as private operators have been forced to seek redress from the government in order to avoid bankruptcy; one particular area of contention has been the billions owed by the operators to the government in the form of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues – usage and licensing fees charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) – that have been the subject of long-standing court battles over what should be counted as revenue; the government won that battle in the Supreme Court in 2019, but the financial impairment of that decision has pushed a number of telcos to the brink; add the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in 2020 and 2021 to the mix, and the government had to come to the industry’s rescue by introducing a major reform package in September 2021; along with changes to the definition of AGR with regard to non-telecom revenue, the package includes a four-year moratorium on AGR dues and spectrum instalments; the government has also deferred the spectrum auctions for 5G until later in 2022; mobile spectrum in India is already in short supply in terms of providing the necessary capacity to reach universal coverage, but the cash-strapped MNOs may not yet be in a sufficiently strong financial position for which to make the 5G spectrum auction viable (2022)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions 2 per 100 and mobile-cellular at nearly 82 per 100 (2021)

international: country code - 91; a number of major international submarine cable systems, including SEA-ME-WE-3 & 4, AAE-1, BBG, EIG, FALCON, FEA, GBICS, MENA, IMEWE, SEACOM/ Tata TGN-Eurasia, SAFE, WARF, Bharat Lanka Cable System, IOX, Chennai-Andaman & Nicobar Island Cable, SAEx2, Tata TGN-Tata Indicom and i2icn that provide connectivity to Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South East Asia, numerous Indian Ocean islands including Australia ; satellite earth stations - 8 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Inmarsat; Indian Ocean region (2022)

Broadcast media

Doordarshan, India's public TV network, has a monopoly on terrestrial broadcasting and operates about 20 national, regional, and local services; a large and increasing number of privately owned TV stations are distributed by cable and satellite service providers; in 2020, 130 million households paid for cable and satellite television across India and as of 2018, cable and satellite TV offered over 850 TV channels; government controls AM radio with All India Radio operating domestic and external networks; news broadcasts via radio are limited to the All India Radio Network; since 2000, privately owned FM stations have been permitted and their numbers have increased rapidly (2020)

Internet users

total: 644 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 46% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 2

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 22.95 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 9

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 14 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 485

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 164,035,637 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,703,960,000 (2018) mt-km

Airports

311 (2024)

comparison ranking: 21

Heliports

276 (2024)

Pipelines

17,389 km natural gas, 10, 419 km crude oil, 3,544 liquid petroleum gas, 14,729 km refined products (2020) 9 km condensate/gas, 20 km oil/gas/water (2013) (2020)

Railways

total: 65,554 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 1,604 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

broad gauge: 63,950 km (2014) (39, 329 km electrified)

comparison ranking: total 4

Roadways

total: 6,371,847 km (2021) note: includes 140,995 km of national highways and expressways, 171.039 km of state highways , and 6,059,813 km of other roads

note: includes 96,214 km of national highways and expressways, 147,800 km of state highways, and 4,455,010 km of other roads

comparison ranking: total 2

Waterways

14,500 km (2012) (5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels)

comparison ranking: 10

Merchant marine

total: 1,859 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 66, container ship 22, general cargo 607, oil tanker 144, other 1020

comparison ranking: total 15

Ports

total ports: 56 (2024)

large: 4

medium: 4

small: 13

very small: 30

size unknown: 5

ports with oil terminals: 18

key ports: Calcutta, Chennai (Madras), Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Shiva), Kattupalli Port, Kochi (Cochin), Mumbai (Bombay), New Mangalore, Vishakhapatnam

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Indian Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard; Defense Security Corps

Ministry of Home Affairs: Central Armed Police Forces (includes Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guards, Sashastra Seema Bal), Special Protection Group, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)

Ministry of Railways: Railway Protection Force (2024)

note 1: the Defense Security Corps provides security for Ministry of Defense sites

note 2: the Border Security Force (BSF) is responsible for the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders; the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB or Armed Border Force) guards the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders

note 3: the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) includes a Rapid Reaction Force (RAF) for riot control and the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) for counter-insurgency operations 

note 4: the Assam Rifles are under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, while operational control falls under the Ministry of Defense (specifically the Indian Army)

note 5: the Territorial Army (TA) is a military reserve force composed of part-time volunteers who provide support services to the Indian Army; it is a part of the Regular Army with the role of relieving Regular Army units from static duties and assisting civil authorities with natural calamities and maintaining essential services in emergencies, as well as providing units for the Regular Army as required

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2023 est.)
2.1% of GDP (2022 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.5% of GDP (2020 est.)
2.4% of GDP (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 70

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 1.5 million active personnel (approximately 1.25 million Army; 65,000 Navy; 140,000 Air Force; 12,000 Coast Guard) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the majority of the military's inventory consists of Russian- and Soviet-origin equipment; there is a smaller, but growing mix of Western and domestically produced arms; Russia continues to be the leading provider of arms to India, although in recent years India has increased acquisitions from other suppliers, including France, Israel, and the US; it is one of the world's largest importers of arms; India's defense industry is capable of producing a range of air, land, missile, and naval weapons systems for both domestic use and export; it also produces weapons systems under license (2023)

Military service age and obligation

ages vary by service, but generally 16.5-27 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; no conscription (2023)

note 1: in 2022, the Indian Government announced that it would begin recruiting 46,000 men aged 17.5-21 annually to serve on 4-year contracts under a process called the Agnipath scheme; at the end of their tenure, 25% would be retained for longer terms of service, while the remainder would be forced to leave the military, although some of those leaving would be eligible to serve in the Coast Guard, the Merchant Navy, civilian positions in the Ministry of Defense, and in the paramilitary forces of the Ministry of Home Affairs, such as the Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles

note 2: as of 2023, women made up less than 1% of the Army, about 1% of the Air Force, and about 6% of the Navy 

note 3: the Indian military accepts citizens of Nepal and Bhutan; descendants of refugees from Tibet who arrived before 1962 and have resided permanently in India; peoples of Indian origin from nations such as Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India; eligible candidates from “friendly foreign nations” may apply to the Armed Forces Medical Services 

note 4: the British began to recruit Nepalese citizens (Gurkhas) into the East India Company Army during the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-1816), and the Gurkhas subsequently were brought into the British Indian Army; following the partition of India in 1947, an agreement between Nepal, India, and Great Britain allowed for the transfer of the 10 regiments from the British Indian Army to the separate British and Indian armies; six regiments of Gurkhas (aka Gorkhas in India) regiments went to the new Indian Army; a seventh regiment was later added

Military deployments

1,800 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 200 Golan Heights (UNDOF); 890 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 2,350 South Sudan (UNMISS); 590 Sudan (UNISFA) (2024)

note: India has over 6,000 total military and police personnel deployed on UN missions

Military - note

the Indian military performs a variety of missions; it is primarily focused on China and Pakistan and territorial defense, while secondary missions include regional power projection, UN peacekeeping deployments, humanitarian operations, and support to internal security forces; it has fought in several significant conflicts and counterinsurgency operations since 1947 and regularly conducts large-scale exercises; the military may act internally under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) of 1958, an act of the Indian Parliament that granted special powers to put down separatist movements in "disturbed areas"; the AFSPA of 1958 and a virtually identical law, the Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act of 1990, have been in force since 1958 in parts of northeast India, and since 1990 in Jammu & Kashmir

the short 1962 Sino-India War left in place one of the World’s longest disputed international borders, resulting in occasional standoffs between Indian and Chinese security forces, including lethal clashes in 1975 and 2020; meanwhile, India and Pakistan have fought several conflicts since 1947, including the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistan and Bangladesh War of Independence of 1971, as well clashes over the disputed region of Kashmir (the First Kashmir War of 1947 and the 1999 Kargil Conflict); a fragile cease-fire in Kashmir was reached in 2003, revised in 2018, and reaffirmed in 2021, although the Line of Control remains contested, and India has accused Pakistan of backing armed separatists and terrorist organizations in Jammu and Kashmir where Indian forces have conducted counterinsurgency operations since the 1980s; in addition, India and Pakistan have battled over the Siachen Glacier of Kashmir, which was seized by India in 1984 with Pakistan attempting to retake the area at least three times between 1985 and 1995; despite a cease-fire, both sides continue to maintain a permanent military presence there with outposts at altitudes above 20,000 feet (over 6,000 meters) where most casualties are due to extreme weather and the hazards of operating in the high mountain terrain of the world’s highest conflict, including avalanches, exposure, and altitude sickness (2023)

Space

Space agency/agencies

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO; established 1969); the ISRO is subordinate to the Department of Space (DOS; established 1972); India’s first space organization was the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR; established 1962); Defense Space Agency (DSA; established 2019 to command the space assets of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Defense Imagery Processing and Analysis Center, Defense Satellite Control Center, and Defense Space Research Organization were also merged into the DSA); National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (established 2020 to facilitate India’s private sector in the country’s space program) (2024)

Space launch site(s)

Satish Dhawan Space Center (aka Sriharikota Range; located in Andhra Pradesh); Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (Kerala) (2024)

Space program overview

has one of the world’s largest space programs; designs, builds, launches, operates, and tracks the full spectrum of satellites, including communications, navigation, remote sensing (RS), and scientific/technology; designs, builds, and launches rockets, space/satellite launch vehicles (SLVs), and lunar/interplanetary probes; launches satellites for foreign partners; developing human space flight capabilities (with assistance from Russia, US); researching and developing additional space-related technologies and capabilities; has space-related agreements with more than 50 countries, including China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the US, as well as the European Space Agency; participates in international space projects such as the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope; has a government-owned company under the administrative control of DOS; NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is the commercial arm of the ISRO with the responsibility of researching and developing space-related technologies and promoting India’s growing space industry (2024)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Harakat ul-Mujahidin; Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami; Hizbul Mujahideen; Indian Mujahedeen; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – India; Jaish-e-Mohammed; Lashkar-e Tayyiba; al-Qa’ida; al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)/Qods Force

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 92,131 (Sri Lanka), 72,315 (Tibet/China), 10,064 (Afghanistan) (mid-year 2022); 78,731 (Burma) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2023)

IDPs: 631,000 (armed conflict and intercommunal violence) (2022)

stateless persons: 20,330 (2022)

Illicit drugs

India is a source, transit, and destination for illicit narcotics and precursor chemicals; drug abuse in India growing, facilitated by illicit narcotics and the availability of over-the-counter medicines; commonly abused substances in India include heroin, cannabis, and cocaine, with growing use of pharmaceutical drugs in recent years including tramadol, opioids, and MDMA (ecstasy) analogues; largest producer of generic drugs in the world which is also used to produce illicit synthetic drugs such as pharmaceutical opioids, methamphetamine, heroin, MDMA, and ketamine