Demographics of Jammu Kashmir

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The state of Jammu and Kashmir combined disparate regions, religions, and ethnicities. In the British census of India of 1941, Jammu and Kashmir registered a Muslim majority population of 77%, a Hindu population of 20% and a sparse population of Buddhists and Sikhs comprising the remaining 3%. The total Muslim population in the State was over 31 lacs (3,100,000).

The 1941 Census reported that most of the Muslims in the Jammu Province and its Jagirs were closely connected with the tribes of the Punjab and were of the same original stock as the Hindu elements of Jammu’s population; with the Gujjars being an important element. Among Jammu Province’s population the ethnic makeup was composed of Arains, Jats, Sudhans, Gujjars and Rajputs etc.

The Muslims living in the southern part of the Kashmir Province (Baramulla and Anantnag districts) were of the same stock as the Kashmiri Pandit community and were designated as Kashmiri Muslims. The population of the Muzaffarabad District was partly Kashmiri Muslim, partly Gujjar and the rest were of the same stock as the tribes of the neighbouring Punjab and North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The 1921 Census report stated that Kashmiri Muslims were sub-divided into numerous sub-castes such as Bat, Dar, Wain etc.The 1921 Census report stated that Kashmiri Muslims formed 31% of the Muslim population of the entire princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Muslims of the Ladakh District were mostly Mongolian (Baltis) by race. In Astore and the various illaqas of the Gilgit Agency the population mostly consisted of Dards.

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Muslims in the Kashmir Valley are predominantly Sunni, as is the case among Jammu’s Muslims. However, nearly all Muslims in Ladakh are Shia.

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