Population: 1.1 billion, about 29 per cent live in urban areas.
Political system: Federal republic with 28 states and seven territories. The capital is New Delhi. The official languages are English and Hindi. India is a member of the Commonwealth.
Economy: India still has a large rural population and it is estimated that half the workforce is engaged in agriculture. The country also has substantial manufacturing activities. Services account for 50 per cent of GDP and trading, tourism, transport and telecommunications have been major contributors to economic growth. IT has been another sector of strong growth, creating jobs at home and abroad for Indians who have migrated.
Following economic liberalization that encouraged private enterprise and competition, India has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
The OECD estimates that the richest 10 per cent of the population controls 30 per cent of the income.