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11 Most Spoken Languages in India by Number of Speakers

After researching on Google for the “ugliest language in India,” the search result suggests “Kannada,” which is spoken…
10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

After researching on Google for the “ugliest language in India,” the search result suggests “Kannada,” which is spoken by approximately 40 million people in South India. This information was found on India has several major languages spoken across the country. Let’s explore the search results and learn about India’s 10 most spoken languages, as per the 2011 census of languages.

If you look up “ugliest language in India” on Google, the result may shock you. It claims that Kannada, one of the oldest languages globally, holds this title. This information was first seen on

This sparked outrage on social media, with many demanding an apology from Google and strict action. An IT company named Thincnext in Bangalore even started a petition on to remove the search results from Google.

Language is a crucial aspect of human existence, enabling communication and fostering relationships between people.

India, the seventh-largest country globally by area and the second-most populous, with over 1.3 billion people, boasts diverse religions, languages, and cultures. People speaking various languages are spread throughout the country.

Did you know that India has over 121 languages spoken by 10,000 or more people, with a population exceeding 121 crores, according to census analysis? Additionally, the census analysis reveals that over 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongues. Let’s delve into the most spoken languages and their speakers in the country, as per the 2011 Census.

1. Hindi – 52.83 crore speakers

Hindi India Language Malayalam Vocabulary, Number Hindi,, 44% Off

Hindi is India’s most widely spoken language and the country’s official language. According to the 2011 census, the number of people speaking Hindi as their mother tongue increased compared to the 2001 census. In 2001, 41.03% of people spoke Hindi as their mother tongue; in 2011, it increased to 43.63%. Hindi ranks fourth most spoken language globally after Mandarin, Spanish, and English. Currently, there are 52,83,47,193 Hindi speakers in India. It is spoken in almost all country states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, and Delhi.

Hindi is rooted in the Sanskrit language and has been influenced by Dravidian, Arabic, Portuguese, English, Persian, and Turkish. Dialects spoken in Hindi include Awadhi, Braj, and Khadi Bhasha. Did you know that Hindi words are divided into five categories: Tatsama, Ardhatasama, Tadbhav, Deshaj, and Videshi?

2. Bengali – 9.72 crore speakers

Multilingual Manchester Data Tool | Bengali

Bengali is India’s second most spoken language, with 9.72 crore speakers, accounting for 8.03 percent of the population.

Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken in South Asia. It is important in various states, including northeast India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Originally, Bengali was a secular language of ancient Indo-Aryans and was later influenced by Persian and Arabic. Its usage, pronunciation, words, and phonetics vary across different regions. In India, Bengali is mainly spoken in the eastern states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, and Tripura. It’s also spoken in other countries like the Middle East, America, Australia, Japan, the UK, and Canada. Additionally, Bengali language programs are offered at Karachi University.

Did you know that the National Anthem of India was written in Bengali?

3. Marathi – 8.30 crore speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

Marathi is spoken by 8.30 crore people in the country, which makes up 6.86 percent of the total population.

Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language that is the official language in western states, including Goa and Maharashtra. It has around 42 different dialects. Interestingly, Marathi grammar includes three genders.

4. Telugu – 8.11 crore speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken widely across India, primarily in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Yanam states. It has various dialects, including Beraad, Wadaga, Domara, Salavari, Nellore, Comtao, and Kamathi.

In addition to India, Telugu is spoken in many other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.

5. Tamil – 6.90 crore speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

Tamil has its roots in the Dravidian language. It’s not only the official language of Singapore and Sri Lanka but also widely spoken in India, with 6.90 crore speakers. Tamil is one of the oldest surviving languages globally, with a literary tradition spanning over 2,000 years.

Most Tamil speakers are found in southern India, near the coast of Sri Lanka.

6. Gujarati – 5.54 crore speakers

Gujarati Script - Wikipedia

Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by 5.54 crore people in India. It serves as the official language of Gujarat, a state in northwest India. Interestingly, the Gujarati language has its roots in Sanskrit.

7. Urdu – 5.07 crore speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

There are approximately 5.07 crore Urdu speakers in India. Urdu is one of the country’s official languages and holds official status in states like West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, and Jharkhand. Interestingly, Urdu is also Pakistan’s official language.

8. Kannada – 4.37 crore speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

Like Tamil, Kannada is a Dravidian language spoken by 4.37 crore people in India. Kannada is considered one of the oldest surviving languages globally. It’s not only spoken within India but also in countries like Australia, the United States, and Canada, particularly among members of the Indian Diaspora. Estimates suggest there are around 20 different dialects of Kannada.

9. Odia – 3.75 crore speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

Odia is the official language of India, primarily spoken in the state of Odisha. It has 3.75 crore speakers across the country.

10. Malayalam – 3.48 crore speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

Around 3.48 crore people in India speak Malayalam, primarily in Kerala, Puducherry, and Lakshadweep. Malayalam has its roots in the Dravidian language.

11. English language – 2,59,678 speakers

10 Most Spoken Languages In India By Number Of Speakers

English, like Hindi, is an official language of India’s central government. Also, English holds official status in certain states like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. English has been taught in Indian schools since the days of the East India Company in the 1800s.

People speak various languages in India, but communication isn’t a problem, as many Indians are multilingual. Most Indians typically speak English, Hindi, and their mother tongue. English is widely used nationwide and is no longer seen as a foreign language. It’s the main mode of communication between people from different regions in both the north and south of India. Now you know about the most spoken languages in India based on the number of speakers.


the linguistic landscape of India is incredibly diverse, with many languages spoken across the country. Based on the number of speakers, the 11 most spoken languages in India reflect this rich diversity and cultural heritage. From Hindi and Bengali to Telugu and Marathi, each language holds significance and contributes to India’s vibrant tapestry of cultures and traditions. Despite the linguistic diversity, many Indians are multilingual, facilitating communication and fostering unity amidst diversity. Understanding the prominence of these languages provides insight into India’s social, cultural, and historical fabric, highlighting the country’s unique identity on the global stage.


Q1: What are the top 11 most spoken languages in India?

Ans: Based on the number of speakers, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Odia, and Malayalam are the top 11 most spoken languages in India.

Q2: How are these languages ranked?

Ans: These languages are ranked based on the number of native speakers in India, as per census data and language surveys.

Q3: Are these languages only spoken in India?

Ans: While these languages are primarily spoken in India, many of them, such as Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu, have speakers and communities across the globe.

Q4: Is English included in India’s list of most spoken languages?

Ans: English is not included in the list of most spoken languages in India, as it is often considered a second or third language for many Indians. However, it is widely used for communication, especially in urban areas and among educated populations.

Q5: How do Indians typically become multilingual?

Ans: Many Indians become multilingual through exposure to different languages daily, interactions with people from diverse linguistic backgrounds, and education in schools where multiple languages are taught.

Q6: Are there any regional variations in the usage of these languages?

Ans: There are regional variations in the usage of these languages, with certain languages being more predominant in specific states or regions of India. For example, Telugu is primarily spoken in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, while Marathi is more commonly spoken in Maharashtra.

Q7: How does the government support preserving and promoting these languages?

Ans: The Indian government implements various policies and programs to support the preservation and promotion of these languages, including the inclusion of regional languages in education curricula, the establishment of language academies, and the recognition of these languages in official communications and government documents.

Q8: Are there any efforts to standardize these languages across different regions?

Ans: While efforts are made to promote the standardization of these languages, regional variations and dialects are often preserved and celebrated as part of each linguistic community’s cultural heritage. Standardization efforts typically focus on creating uniformity in written forms and grammar while allowing for linguistic diversity in spoken forms.

Q9: How do these languages contribute to India’s cultural diversity?

Ans: These languages are crucial in shaping India’s cultural diversity by reflecting different linguistic communities’ unique heritage, traditions, and identities. They are integral to various cultural practices, literature, music, and performing arts, enriching the country’s cultural landscape.

Q10: Are there any challenges faced in preserving these languages?

Ans: Yes, there are challenges in preserving these languages, including the language shift towards dominant languages like Hindi and English, the decreasing use of regional languages in urban areas, and the impact of globalization on language preferences. Efforts are needed to promote the use and appreciation of these languages, especially among younger generations.

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