Scheduled Tribes in India: As revealed in Census 2011


This report highlights the data and demographics of scheduled tribes (ST) in 30 states and union territories of India, as documented in Census 2011. The report makes comparisons from 1961 by showing population trends as well as decadal growth rate. It also focuses on the livelihoods of people from scheduled castes and tribes (SC/ST) in rural as well as urban India.


Presently, 705 ethnic groups are notified as STs in the country. In the decade before Census 2011, there were some changes in the lists of STs in states and union territories, and with the addition or deletion of certain tribes, some areas show either an increase or a decline in the numbers. 


  1. 10.42 crore Indians are notified as ‘Scheduled Tribes’ (ST), of which 1.04 crores live in urban areas.

  2. STs constitute 8.6 per cent of the country’s total population and 11.3 per cent of the total rural population.

  3. The sex ratio among Scheduled Tribes is 990 females per 1,000 males, a significant increase from 978 in the 2001 Census.

  4. Madhya Pradesh has the highest Scheduled Tribe population (14.7 per cent). Meghalaya has the lowest (2.5 per cent).

  5. In Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa, the ST population increased by more than 1 per cent point from 2001 to 2011; Sikkim too saw a significant rise in the ST population – from 20.6 per cent of total population in 2001 to 33.8 per cent in 2011 – because the Limboo and Tamang tribes were added to the list.

  6. While Goa had no tribal population in 2001, with the introduction of Kunbi, Gawda and Velip tribes to the ST list, tribes now constitute 10.2 per cent of the state’s total population.

  7. In Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the ST population dropped. This was probably due to migration. In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the ST population dropped from 8.3 per cent in 2001 to 7.5per cent in 2011, possibly due to the tsunami in 2004. 

  8. 53 per cent of STs and 48.9 per cent SCs live in dilapidated houses; and most of their households are single rooms (44 per cent STs  and 47 per cent STs).

  9. 46.6 per cent of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes drink water directly from taps. The others rely on wells, hand pumps, borewells, and other means. Only 52 per cent of STs and SCs have access to water within their premises.

  10. Only 52 per cent of ST households and 59 per cent of SC households use electricity; 46 per cent of ST households and 40 per cent of SC households use kerosene.

  11. Although there has been an increase of 11 points in the use of LPG/PNG since 2001, 66 per cent households still use firewood, crop residue or cow dung cake.

  12. Only 23 per cent ST households and 34 per cent of SC households have some kind of toilet facility.


Dr. C. Chandramouli, Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India


Ministry of Home Affairs


03 May, 2013