INDIA REVEALED: 10 SURPRISING FACTS
On Monday, just back from India, I posted my impressions of Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in my blog . I tried to
capture the kaleidoscopic quality of a city that combines the old and the new, extreme poverty and astonishing economic growth. Despite the city’s (and indeed India’s) pressing problems, India is definitely beginning to take its rightful place on the world stage.
Today, I’d like to drill down a little deeper and share with you 10 interesting facts about the country that Goldman Sachs has predicted “could be 40 times bigger by 2050.”
1. At 1.27 million square miles, India about a third of the size of the US.
2. India is the #2 most populous country in the world (with nearly 1.16 billion people), just behind China. In fact, India has almost four times the population of the United States.
3. Like the US, India is a federal republic: power rests with the voters who chose their governmental representatives. Everyone age 18 and older has the right to vote.
4. The two most prominent religions in India are Hinduism (80.5%) and Islam (13.4%), according to the 2001 census. However, Jainism and Buddhism have been practiced in India for nearly 2,500 years. What’s more, Jews and Christians have lived continuously in India since 200 BC and 52 AD, respectively.
5. There are 15 official languages in India. Hindi is most widely spoken language and the primary tongue of 41% of the population, but English is the most important language for national, political and commercial communication.
6. Slightly more than half of India’s work force is in agriculture, but services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for more than half of India's output, with less than one-third of its labor force.
7. India’s top industries are: textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transportation equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software and pharmaceuticals.
8. With more than 427 million mobile telephones in use, India currently outranks the U.S. in terms of cell phone subscribers. (China is #1.)
9. There are 81 million internet users in India … more than in Canada and the U.K. combined.
10. At $3.55 trillion in 2009, India’s GDP (purchasing power parity) is ranked #5, after the EU, US, China and Japan.
SOURCES: CIA - The World Factbook and the National Portal of India’s Interesting Facts about India.
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