12 Most Popular Spoken Languages in India

India is a country that’s full of cultural and geographical diversity. This cultural diversity had lead to a great diversity in the languages too. With every 25 km difference there comes a slight difference in the spoken language. So’ we can say that in such a large country like India there are thousands of languages.

However, it is difficult to take so many languages into account hence all languages are in India are categorized into 60 main languages. Out of these 23 languages are official languages according to the Indian constitution and Hindi and English are used as official languages by the Central Government. Hindi is used by half of the population as either first or second language. Except for Hindi, all other main languages are the basis of division among the states. There are a lot of facts about Indian languages that you can know. So’ here is a list of 12 Most Popular Spoken Languages in India.

1. Hindi

Hindi language

Hindi is the most popular language in India with almost 44 percent of the whole population speaking it as a native language. It is mainly spoken in the middle and northern states of the country like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. All these states alongside Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana speak Hindi as their mother tongue. However, there is a lot of variation in the speech within the sublanguages of Hindi but the written script is the same. According to the 2011 census, there were 528,347,193 Hindi speakers in India.

2. Bengali

Bengali Language

After Hindi Bengali is the second most popular language in India. It is mostly spoken in the eastern parts of the country especially in the state of West Bengal. As per 2011 census, there were 97,237,669 Bengali speakers making 8 percent of the whole nation’s population. The evolution of Bengali language dates back to the 1000 – 1200 AD. Bengali is also spoken in the whole nation of Bangladesh and in some parts of Myanmar too.

3. Marathi

Marathi Language

Marathi is the 3rd highest spoken language and is another popular language in India and is spoken in the state of Maharashtra and Goa. There are total 83,026,680 Marathi speakers in India and that’s equal to the 6.86 percent of the whole population. The history of Marathi language dates back from 900 AD making it one of the oldest languages in India. Alongside Maharashtra and Goa, Marathi is also spoken in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

4. Telugu

Telugu Language

Telugu is the 4th highest spoken language and is a Dravidian language and is spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. According to the 2011 census it had 81.1 million speakers in India making 6.93 percent of the whole nation’s population. It is one of the oldest languages in India and was originated somewhere between 1500 to 1000 BCE. Alongside Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Telugu is also popular in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

5. Tamil

Tamil language

Tamil is the 5th highest spoken language and is also a Dravidian Language and as its name suggests it’s spoken in the state of Tamil Nadu. According to the 2011 census it had 69 million speakers in India. It was developed somewhere between 300 B.C and 300 A.D. Tamil is a hugely popular language and is also spoken in Sri Lanka and is considered as a minority language in Malasia, Mauritius, and South Africa.

6. Gujarati

Gujarati Language

Gujarati is the 6th highest spoken language and is an Indo-Aryan language and as its name suggest it’s spoken in Gujarat. According to the 2011 census it had 55.5 million speakers in India making 4.5 percent of the whole nation’s population. Its origin dates back to 1300 A.D. Gujarati has many speakers around the world most of them are migrants. Alongside these Gujarati is also spoken in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

7. Urdu

Urdu Language

Urdu is the 7th highest spoken language also an Indo-Aryan language and is spoken throughout the whole country mainly in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Jharkhand, Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. According to the 2011 census it had 50 million speakers in India. Urdu has its origin dating back to 6th to 13th century B.C. Urdu is the official language in the whole nation of Pakistan.

8. Kannada

Kannada language

Kannada is the 8th highest spoken language in India and is a Dravidian language and is spoken in the state of Karnataka. According to the 2011 census it had 43.7 million speakers in India. Kannada has its origin dating back to 450 to 1200 CE and it was developed from a 5th-century script called Kadamba. Alongside Karnataka, Kannada is also spoken in the areas neighboring to it.

9. Odia

Odia language.

Odia is the 9th highest spoken language and is also an Indo-Aryan language and is spoken in Odisha having 75 percent of the whole state’s population. According to the 2011 census it had 37.5 million speakers in India. Odia has its origin dating back to 10th century AD. Being the main language in Odisha Odia is also spoken in Chattisgarh and has 1 million speakers there.

10. Malayalam

Malayalam Language.

Malayalam is the 10th highest spoken language in India and is spoken in the state of Kerala. It is Dravidian language and was developed after 7th century CE. According to the 2011 census it had 34.8 million speakers in India. It was also designated as a Classical Language in 2013. Alongside Kerala, it is also spoken in some neighbor states too.

11. Punjabi

Punjabi language.

Punjabi is the 11th highest spoken language in India and as its name suggests it is spoken in the state of Punjab. It is an Indo-Aryan language and was developed after 7th century CE. According to the 2011 census it had 33.1 million speakers in India. Punjabi is also an official language in the state of Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Furthermore, it is also an official language in Canada. Punjabi is written in two scripts Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. Shahmukhi is mainly used in Pakistan.

12. Assamese

Assamese language

Assamese is the 12th most spoken language in India and as its name suggests it is spoken in the state of Assam. It is also an Indo Aryan language and according to historians, it was developed in the 7th century AD. As per 2011 census, there were 15.3 million Assamese speakers in India. It is also spoken in the state of Arunachal Pradesh and it has some sister languages too, which are famous in the regions of Myanmar.

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