Kerala is the least linguistically diverse state in India, Nagaland tops the chart

Nagaland is India’s most diverse state linguistically, while Kerala is the least diverse, Mints says based on the linguistic data from the 2011 census.

The report applies the Herfindahl-Hirschmann Index (HHI) formula to the 2011 linguistic census data.

Nagaland has 14 languages and 17 dialects, with Konyak being the largest language having a 46 percent share as per the 2011 census.

In Kerala, over 97 percent of the population identifies Malayalam as their mother tongue.

The report states that in Himachal Pradesh, 86 percent of the people identify Hindi as their mother tongue.

78% of Bihar’s population speak Hindi, giving it 1.6 effective languages, but broken down to the dialect level, Hindi is only spoken by 26% of the population (the other prominent dialect in the state being Bhojpuri).

In Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, while Hindi dominates at the language level, its dialects Rajasthani and Chattisgarhi dominate respectively if we measure at the dialect level.

Barring languages primarily spoken in small states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Hindi is the only language which breaks down into multiple major dialects as seen above, which leads to the question of “what is Hindi”. We will answer that another day!

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