Covering more than 1.2 million square miles, India is the 8th largest country in the world. India is home to more than 1.28 billion people,1 which is second highest population in the world, though forecasts suggest that India will have the highest population in the world by 2025.2 The tragedy is that only 2.3% of Indians are Christians, while 79% are Hindus and 14% are Muslim.
Three of the world’s seven most densely populated cities are in India, with the Indian city of Vijayawada containing 80,700 people per square mile.1 New York City, by comparison, has a density of only 27,000 per square mile.
The most popular sport in India is cricket, a game that in some ways resembles baseball, although baseball fans never see scores such as 393-250.
Indians love to go to the movies, and the Indian film industry produces between 1,500 and 2,000 movies every year, more than the film industry in any other country. In fact, it’s about double what the United Sates produces annually!
Because of its size, India has a great diversity of foods, and many of them are quite spicy. The superstar of Indian hot stuff is the Bhut Jaloki, or Ghost Pepper, which is at least 100 times hotter than a jalapeno.
India’s economy is growing, but almost 22% of the population still lives below the poverty line, and the per capita income is only $6,700.
In most of India, people have no need for winter coats, although some places in the Himalayas, such as Dras, do have harsh winters with temperatures as low as -40˚, which is the point where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales converge. However, most of the country is like New Delhi, the national capital, which can reach a temperature of 45˚ C, or 113˚ F.
The Indian village of Mawsynram is the wettest place on earth and it receives an average of 467 inches of rain every year.
According to the census of 2001, India has 23 official languages (including official regional languages) of the 415 spoken. The official languages of government are Hindi and English.