Home > Delhi At A Glance > Demographics


The population count of Delhi as per the year 2011 survey of India is estimated around 16,753,235. The population density at the time of census was estimated to be 11,297 persons per km2. The literacy rate was 86.34% and the gender ratio of the city was found to be 866 women for every 1000 men. The birth, death as well as infant mortality rate is counted to be as per 1000 persons and this was 20.03, 5.59 and 13.08, correspondingly in the year 2004. Population increased by 285,000 due to migration and by 215,000 by normal population evolution in year 2001. The result was that Delhi developed as one of the rapidly developing cities in the entire world. Delhi is predicted to become the 3rd largest city following Mumbai and Tokyo by the end of 2015. Asia’s biggest strategically inhabited area, Dwarka is also located in proximity of the city. It lies inside the National Capital Territory of New Delhi.

With almost 82% of residents of Delhi following Hinduism, it is the most prevalent religion of the city. Apart from Hindus, the city also has Muslim (11.7%), Sikh (4%), Bahai (0.1%), Jain (1.1%) and Christian (0.94%) communities as well as additionalsectional religions including Buddhism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. Delhi’s principal spoken language is Hindi, and Hindustani (Devanagari Script) is the mainprinted language of the Delhi. Keeping in mind the considerable percentage of Delhi’s population that speaks Punjabi and Urdu speaking population, Punjabi and Urdu have been given the other language status in Delhi.

With the current rapid pace at which the population is rising in the city, the government of Delhi is under a huge amount of pressure as the infrastructure is struggling to keep up. As a result, the state government of Delhi introduced and commenced the ‘master plan’ to provide allocation of more commercial, residential and industrial areas in the region. With this plan, the decision was made to spend billions of dollars in city’s infrastructure.


With a population density of 6352 persons per sq. km., Delhi has the highest population density among the States and Union Territories (1991 Census. It stands fifth among the major cities, namely Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad (Table 3.1). The population density will be 10,062 persons per sq. km by the end of the Ninth Five-Year Plan (2002). The projected national density of 313 persons per sq. km will be compared with the density of Delhi. Table 3.6 shows the State-wise population density between 1901 and 1991.

Sex Ratio

The sex ratio (number of females per thousand males) was at a decline in Delhi declined till 1941. But the trend has reversed ever since. The Delhi sex ratio however is still lower than the all India sex ratio. According to 1991 census the sex ratio is 827 for Delhi and that for India is 927. Table 3.7 gives the sex ratio of Delhi 1901 to 1991 and also the national comparisons.


The birth and death rate and the total rise in population give the estimated migration into Delhi. According to these estimates, migration has been steadily increasing since 1991. In 1997, the migration rate superseded the natural growth rate by more than one and a half times (1:1.55).The natural population increase in 1991 was 2.11 lakh while increase due to migration was 1.78 lakh.


Do you think Delhi is the most developing Capital in the world?