10 Most Spoken Languages in India by Number of Speakers
The most pivotal feature of human existence is the language that helps humans to communicate with each other and develop relations between them.
We know that India is the world’s seventh-largest country by area as well as the world's second-most populous country. The country has a population of more than 1.2 billion people. There are several religions practised in the country. It consists of diverse languages and cultures and people speaking different languages are scattered in different parts of the country.
Do you know that there are 121 languages which are spoken by 10,000 or more people in India, which has a population of 121 crores, according to a census analysis? More than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongue, according to the latest analysis of a census. Let us find out the most spoken languages and speakers in the country through this article.
1. Hindi - 52.83 crore speakers
Hindi is the most spoken language in India. It is one of the official languages of the country. According to the 2011 census, the number of people who speak Hindi as a mother tongue has increased in 2011 as compared to the 2001 census. In 2001, 41.03% of the people speak Hindi as mother tongue, while in 2011 it is increased to 43.63%. After Mandarin, Spanish and English, Hindi is also the fourth most spoken language in the world. At present, there are 52, 83, 47,193 Hindi speakers in India. It is spoken in almost all the states of the country including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.
Hindi is a descendant of Sanskrit language and is influenced by Dravidian, Arabic, Portuguese, English, Persian and Turkey languages. Languages spoken in Hindi include Awadi, Braj and khadi bhasha. Did you know that the Hindi word is divided into five categories, such as Tatsama Ardhatasama, Tadbhav, Deshaj and Videshi?
2. Bengali - 9.72 crore speakers
India's second most spoken language is Bengali, which is spoken by 9.72 crore citizens i.e. 8.03 percent of the total population.
Bengali is an Indian-Aryan language spoken mostly in South Asia. It is the most prominent language in most of the states, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the northeast of India. Bengali was a secular language of old Indo-Aryans in the beginning and was influenced by Persian and Arabic. This language varies in different states, especially in usage, pronunciation, words and phonetic form. In India, Bengali is mostly spoken in the eastern states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam and Tripura. This language is also spoken in the Middle East, America, Australia, Japan, UK and Canada. Bengali is also a part of the programs offered by Karachi University.
Do you know that the National anthem of India was written in the Bengali language?
3. Marathi - 8.30 crore speakers
A total of 8.30 crore people speaks Marathi in the country, which is 6.86 percent of the total population.
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language which is spoken as the official language of the states in the western part of the country, including Goa and Maharashtra. There are about 42 different dialects spoken in Marathi. Do you know that there are three genders in Marathi grammar?
4. Telugu - 8.11 crore speakers
Telugu is a Dravidian language which is widely spoken in India in many states of the country. This language is mainly spoken in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Yanam states. Among the other dialects in its speech include the Beraad, Wadaga, Domara, Salavari, Nellore, Comtao and Kamathi. This language is also spoken in many countries including the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, United Arab Emirates and South Africa.
5. Tamil - 6.90 crore speakers
The roots of the Tamil language are associated with the Dravidian language. Although, it is the official language of both Singapore and Sri Lanka and is also widely spoken language in India. 6.90 crore people speak Tamil in the country. Do you know that Tamil is remarkably known as one of the oldest surviving languages of the world? Its literary tradition has been for more than 2,000 years. Most of the Tamil language is spoken in southern India near the coast of Sri Lanka.
6. Gujarati - 5.54 crore speakers
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by 5.54 crore people in India. This is the official language of Gujarat, which is a state located in north-west India. Let us tell you that the Gujarati language has evolved from Sanskrit.
7. Urdu - 5.07 crore speakers
There are about 5.07 crore Urdu speakers in India. Urdu is also one of the official languages of the country. It is listed as an official language in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana and Jharkhand. Let us tell you that Urdu is also the official language of Pakistan.
8. Kannada - 4.37 crore speakers
Like Tamil, Kannada is also a Dravidian language. It is spoken by 4.37 crore people in India. Do you know that Kannada is one of the oldest surviving languages of the world? This language is also spoken outside of India, in places like Australia, the United States and Canada. Many of these speakers are also members of the Indian Diaspora. It is estimated that there are about 20 different dialects in Kannada.
9. Odia - 3.75 crore speakers
Odia is the official language of India and most of the speakers are centered in Odisha state. This language is spoken by 3.75 crore speakers across the country.
10. Malayalam - 3.48 crore speakers
Approximately, 3.48 crore speakers in India speak Malayalam, which is spoken in the states of Kerala, Puducherry and Lakshadweep. The roots of this language are also from Dravidian language.
English language - 2,59,678 speakers
With Hindi, the English language is also one of the official languages of India's federal government. In some states of India like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, English is an official language. From the days of the East India Company in the 1800s, English was taught in schools in India.
As various types of languages are spoken in India and there is no hindrance in the medium of communication between the speakers because most Indians are multi-lingual. It has been seen that most people of India speak English, Hindi and one mother tongue. Now, English is no longer considered a foreign language because it is popular as the most common way of communication between people in the south and the north of India. So, now you may have come to know about the most spoken languages in India by the number of speakers.