This article states:

To put it in broader perspective, Muslim population has steadily grown from 13% in 1800 to 16% in 1850 to 20% in 1900 to 25% in 1947 and anywhere between 30 to 33% today taking into account the geographical area of pre-partitioned India. These statistics are available from various sources.

It doesn't provide any reference that I can check.

This book estimates that India's population may have been 185 million in 1800 AD.

Muslim population in 1800 AD

But it doesn't give any estimate of the Muslim population.

13% of 185 million = 24.05 million. Is it a correct estimate?

According to most widely accepted estimate by historians, What was the population of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent in 1800 AD?

(If such data is not available, I would be happy with estimates of between 1800 and 1850)


India's first (& most reliable) census was from 1867 to 1871, known as 1872 Census of India. Government of India confirms this in their census history So, there is no data prior to this census, hence all numbers below are estimates.

In terms of estimated population, circa 1800 to 1850, The Cambridge Economic History of India, Volume 2, c.1751–c.1970 provides estimates on p.466, Table 5.1 (the range is from different authors' estimates):

  • 1800: 157 to 214 million
  • 1850: 183 to 247 million

I cannot find any information on estimates of Muslim population circa 1800 to 1850, but hopefully the range of total population might come in useful.

Your estimated Muslim population of 13% is extremely close to Government of India's (2001 Census Data) estimate: 13.4%.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Upvote for splendid research, summary and answer. – Mark C. Wallace Sep 5 '17 at 15:53
  • 1
    Thanks, I was actually surprised I couldn't get better sources on Muslims in India circa 1800-1850. – J Asia Sep 6 '17 at 18:35

The graph in this answer to another question puts the population of the Indian subcontinent in 1800 at around 190 million. 13% of that would be 24.7 million, which corresponds very closely to your estimate of 24.05 million. So "25 million" is probably the right order of magnitude.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.