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New Delhi: According to information provided to Parliament by the government on July 20, there will be an estimated 19.7 crore Muslims in the country in 2023.

Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani said Muslims made up 14.2% of the total population as of the 2011 Census, and their population share in 2023 was predicted using the same proportion of 19.7 crore. Irani’s written response to a series of queries posed in the Lok Sabha by Mala Roy of the Trinamool Congress

According to her, there were 17.2 crore Muslims in India as of the 2011 Census. The country was expected to have 138.8 crore people in 2023, according to the technical group’s study on demographic forecasts from July 2020.

“Accordingly, applying the same proportion of 14.2%, as was there in the 2011 Census, the projected population of Muslims in 2023 would stand at 19.7 crore,” Irani said.

The minister also provided data on the rate of literacy, labour force participation, and access to basic amenities, including housing, water, and toilets. However, inquiries for so-called Pasmanda Muslim population numbers received no response.

Roy had inquired about three things: whether there was any information on the country’s Muslim population as of May 30; whether the government had any population statistics on Pasmanda Muslims; and specifics on the socioeconomic standing of Pasmanda Muslims.

Irani further said that as per the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2021–22 conducted by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the literacy rate of Muslims aged seven years and above stood at 77.7% and the labour force participation rate for all ages stood at 35.1%.

The minister informed Parliament that according to the multiple indicator survey 2020–21 carried out by the MoSPI to gather data on specific Sustainable Development Goal indicators, the percentage of Muslims reported having an improved source of drinking water stood at 94.9%, those reported to have access to an improved toilet stood at 97.2%, and Muslim households who had purchased/constructed a new house or flat for the first time after March 31, 2014, stood at 50.2%.

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