Kerala Demographics

Kerala OverviewKerala is a state in south-western India. Most of Kerala’s 3.18 crore (31.8 million) people are of Malayali ethnicity. Malayalis in turn number among southern India’s Dravidian community. Additional ancestries derive from several centuries of contact with non-Indian lands, whereby thousands of people of Arab, Jewish, Portuguese, Dutch, British, and other non-Dravidian ethnicities settled in Kerala. Many of these immigrants intermarried with native Malayalees.
Nevertheless, Malayalam is Kerala’s official language and is spoken by at least 96% of Keralites; the next most common language is Tamil, spoken mainly by Tamil workers from Tamil Nadu. Tulu and Kannada is spoken in some parts of the northern districts of Kasaragod, adjoining Karnataka. In addition, Kerala is home to 321,000 indigenous tribal Adivasis (1.10% of the populace). Some 63% of Adivasis reside in the eastern districts of Wayanad (where 35.82% are Adivasi), Palakkad (11.05%), and Idukki (15.66%). These groups, including the Irulars, Kurumbars, and Mudugars,speak their own native languages and experience hardships such as racial discrimination, economic exploitation, and poverty. Cholanaikkan tribe in Silent Valley National Park were contacted only in 1970s and they are the most isolated tribe. There were 64,008 Konkani speakers in Kerala in 1991.
Kerala is home to 3.44% of India’s people, and – at 819 persons per km² – its land is three times as densely settled as the rest of India. However, Kerala’s population growth rate is far lower than the national average. Whereas Kerala’s population more than doubled between 1951 and 1991 – adding 156 lakh (15.6 million) people to reach a total of 291 lakh (29.1 million) residents in 1991 – the population stood at less than 320 lakh (32 million) by 2001. Kerala’s people are most densely settled in the coastal region, leaving the eastern hills and mountains comparatively sparsely populated.
The major religions followed in Kerala are Hinduism (56.2% – predominantly Ezhavas and Nairs), Islam (24.7% – Keralite Muslims from northern part of the state are also known as Mappilas), and Christianity (19.00%). Kerala also had a tiny Jewish population until recently, said to date from 587 BC when they fled the occupation of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The 2001 Indian census recorded only 51 Jews in Kerala. The synagogue in Kochi is the oldest in the Commonwealth of Nations. The state has many famous Temples, Mosques, and Churches. The oldest church in India is found in Palayoor, purportedly constructed in A.D. 52 by St. Thomas. Importantly, Kerala has one of the most secular majority populations in India. Kerala has very less no. of industries and even it is one of the most developed state in India (often referred as Kerala model development)
Nationality: Indian
31,841,374 (2008 Census)
Males : 15,471,420
Females : 16,369,955
Ethnic groups in Kerala
The great majority of residents of Kerala are Malayalis, but there are many smaller ethnic groups including Tuluvas, Tamils, Kannadigas and Konkanis.
Religion/Caste Communities
Mappila Muslims – 24.70% (2008 Census)
Ezhavas – 22.91%
Nairs – 12.88%
Syrian Christians (Including Syro-Malabar Catholic, Syro-Malankara Catholic, Jacobite, Orthodox, Marthomite & Chaldean) – 12.25%
Latin Christians – 4.28%
Pulaya – 3.27%
Brahmins – 1.59%
Hindu Tribals – 1.07%
Cheruman – 0.99%
Kuravar – 0.84%
Christian Tribals – 0.07%
Christian Nadar – 1.04%
Other Christian – 1.35%
Other SC – 4.71%
Viswakarmas – 0.3%
Ambalavasi – 0.2%
Others (Dheevara.etc) – 6.00%
Age structure
0-6 years: 3,793,146 or 11.91% (male 1,935,027/female 1,858,119)
0-14 years: 30.69%
15-64 years: 63.87%
65 years and over:5.44% (1991 Cen)
Population growth rate: 0.87% (1998 est.)
Birth rate: 17.1 births/1,000 population (1994-2001 est.)
Birth Rate was 17.1 in 1994-2001 (20.3 in 1984-1990 & 25.0 in 1974-1980) . Pathanamthitta (14.5 in 1994-2001, 17.2 in 1984-1990 & NA in 1974-1980) had the lowest TBR and Malappuram(22.4, 29.5 & 33.6) had the highest TBR.
Death rate: 6.4 deaths/1,000 population (1998)
Net migration rate: (-)3.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1991 est.)
Of the emigrants from Kerala, 42.2% were Muslims, 36.6% were Hindus and 21.2% were Christians in 1992-93. The most preferred destination was USA (37.8%), followed by UAE (25.9%), Other Gulf countries (13.0%), Oman (11.8%), Other Countries (7.5%) and Saudi Arabia(3.8%).
Sex ratio
Total population: 1058 Females/1000 Males
Age 0-6 : 987 Females/1000 Males
Infant mortality rate: Total: 14.1 deaths/1,000 live births (1997-1999)
Maternal mortality rate: Total: 1.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)
Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 73.4 years (1993-1995)
Male: 70.2 years
Female: 76.6 years
Total fertility rate: 1.70 children born/woman (2001 Cen)
In 1991, Kerala had the lowest TFR (Children born per women) in the whole of India. Hindus had a TFR of 1.66, Christians had 1.78 and Muslims had 2.97. In 2000, the TFR was 1.73 with Muslims having 2.28, Nairs having a TFR of 1.47 and Syrian Christians having TFR of 1.55. TFR for Scheduled Castes was 1.52 in 1997-98 and 1.37 in 1992-93. The lowest Fertility rate recorded anywhere in India is TFR of 1.17 for Vettuvan caste in Kerala.

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