Tripura ranks second only to Assam as the most populous state in North East India. According to the provisional results of 2011 census of India, Tripura has a population of 3,671,032 with 1,871,867 males and 1,799,165 females. It constitutes 0.3 per cent of India’s population. The sex ratio of the state is 961 females per thousand males, higher than the national ratio 940. The density of population is 350 persons per square kilometre. The literacy rate of Tripura in 2011 was 87.75 per cent, higher than the national average 74.04 per cent, and third best among all the states.
Although Tripura is noted for the presence of many tribes, Bengali influence on the state was present well before the partition of India; in 1875, the tribes constituted 63.77% of the population of the region, indicating significant presence of non-indigenous population, mainly Bengali. The kings of the princely state encouraged Bengali migration to the state, and Bengalis were involved in administrative jobs and more-productive modern cultivation, as opposed to the jhum cultivation by the indigenous people. The migration increased significantly following the partition, leading to the tribes becoming a minority.
In the 2001 census of India, Bengalis represented almost 69 per cent of Tripura’s population, while the indigenous population amounted to 31 per cent.] The scheduled tribes, historically disadvantaged groups of people recognised by the country’s constitution, consist of 19 ethnic groups and many sub-groups, with diverse languages and cultures. In 2001, the largest such group was the Kokborok-speaking Tripuris, which had a population of 543,848, representing 17.0 per cent of the state’s population and 54.7 per cent of the scheduled tribe population. The other major groups, in descending order of population, were the Reang (16.6 per cent of the indigenous population), Jamatia (7.5 per cent), Chakma (6.5 per cent), Halam (4.8 per cent), Mog (3.1 per cent), Munda (1.2 per cent), Kuki (1.2 per cent) and Garo (1.1 per cent). Bengali is the most widely spoken language, due to the large number of Bengali people in the state. Kokborok is a prominent language among the tribes. Several other languages such as Hindi, Mog, Oriya, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Manipuri, Halam, Garo and Chakma belonging to Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan families are spoken in the state.
Tripura ranked 18th in Human Development Index (HDI) among 35 states and union territories of India, according to 2006 estimate by India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development; the HDI of Tripura was 0.663, better than the all-India HDI 0.605. According to 2001 census, Hinduism is the majority religion in the state, followed by 85.6 per cent of the population.Muslims make up 7.9 per cent of the population, Christians 3.2 per cent, and Buddhists 3.1 per cent. The Muslim percentage in the state gradually declined from 1971 due to heavy influx of Hindu populations from and the migration of Muslim population to Bangladesh. A majority of the tribes in the state are Hindu and practice Hindu religious rites. They believe in the existence of God in all the elements of nature as they are animistic. Mogs and Chakmas are the followers of Buddhism in Tripura. Christianity is chiefly followed by members of the Lushai, Kuki and Garo tribes.