According to the just-released Census 2011 data, the highest number of younger population belongs to the Muslim community comprising of 47% of total Indian population.
In the Hindu population, children and teenagers make up to 40%, while around 41% of India's population is below in the age group of 20 years.
‘The life cycles of different religious communities in India have shown common trends of declining proportion of children and increasing shares of elderly while also showing marked differences in average life span.’
As per the Census data, just 29% population among the Jains are in the age group of 0-19 years while among the Christians, it is 37%, Sikhs 35% and Buddhist 37%.
But the data shows that the share of the young population has declined in the country since the previous census in 2001 when it was 45% for the whole country.
The Elderly population constitute about 9% who are above 60 years in the country while 6.4% are among the Muslims, almost 50% lower than the national average. But the proportion of elderly people in the country has risen across all communities as life spans have generally increased.
50% of country's population are in the intervening 20-59 age group. Children below the age group of 20 years are 44% Hindus, 52% Muslims and 35% Jains.
Overall, the young dependency ratio (the number of children aged up to 15 years dependent on every 1,000 members of the working age population) has declined from 621 in 2001 to 510 in 2011. This is a direct consequence of the declining number of children.
But the old dependency ratio has increased from 131 in 2001 to 142 in 2011, with the growing elderly population. Across religious communities, Muslims have the highest total dependency ratio of 748 compared to the lowest ratio for Jains, which is just 498. For Hindus, the ratio is 640.