Islam in West Bengal

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Zohora Begum Mosque in Kolkata

Since the partition of India in 1947, the majority of the Bengali Muslims have lived in Bangladesh. However, the Indian state of West Bengal also has over 24.6 million Muslims, who form 27% of the state's population.[1] Muslims are minority in all districts of Bengal except Maldah and Murshidabad.

The comparative poverty, illiteracy and lack of political representation of Bengali Muslims compared to Indian Muslims at large has resulted in higher birth rate and hence, growth rate of Bengali Muslims, though there has been allegations that illegal immigration from Bangladesh has resulted in the high rise of the population. It is also said that this rise is due to proximity to Muslim-dominated districts of neighboring state of Bihar.[2] In addition, records from the British colonial era indicate that the majority of Bengali's in Undivided Bengal and Assam were Muslim and Hindus were the second largest group.

Population[edit]

Population by district[edit]

Muslims in West Bengal by district (2011)[1]
# District Total population Muslim population  %
1 Murshidabad 7,103,807 4,707,573 66.28%
2 South 24 Parganas 8,161,961 2,903,075 35.57%
3 North 24 Parganas 10,009,781 2,584,684 25.82%
4 Maldah 3,988,845 2,045,151 51.27%
5 Barddhaman 7,717,563 1,599,764 20.73%
6 Uttar Dinajpur 3,007,134 1,501,170 50.92%
7 Nadia 5,167,600 1,382,682 26.76%
8 Birbhum 3,502,404 1,298,054 37.06%
9 Haora 4,850,029 1,270,641 26.20%
10 Kolkata 4,496,694 926,414 20.60%
11 Hugli 5,519,145 870,204 15.77%
12 Purba Medinipur 5,095,875 743,436 14.59%
13 Koch Bihar 2,819,086 720,033 25.54%
14 Paschim Medinipur 5,913,457 620,554 10.49%
15 Jalpaiguri 3,872,846 445,817 11.51%
16 Dakshin Dinajpur 1,676,276 412,788 24.63%
17 Bankura 3,596,674 290,450 8.08%
18 Puruliya 2,930,115 227,249 7.76%
19 Darjiling 1,846,823 105,086 5.69%
West Bengal (Total) 91,276,115 24,654,825 27.01%

Trends[edit]

Trends in Muslim population of West Bengal[3]
Census year  % of total population Decadal growth
1951 19.85% NA
1961 20% 36.48%
1971 20.46% 29.76%
1981 21.51% 29.55%
1991 23.61% 36.89%
2001 25.25% 25.91%
2011 27.01% 21.80%

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Population by religious community: West Bengal. 2011 Census of India.
  2. ^ "Bengal beats India in Muslim growth rate - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  3. ^ B.P. Syam Roy (28 September 2015). "Bengal’s topsy-turvy population growth". The Statesman.