SHILLONG, Aug 26 - The Christian population in Meghalaya has increased to 74.59 per cent, or by 4.34 per cent, while the population of indigenous religious groups witnessed the sharpest decline of 2.83 per cent, followed by Hindu population with a 1.75 per cent decline.
The state�s total population was 29,66,889 according to the 2011 census, according to the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, who released the data on Population by Religious Communities of Census, 2011 on Tuesday.
Meghalaya�s population was 23,18,822 as per the 2001 census.
As per the 2011 census, the Christian population in the state now stands at 22,13,027 (74.59 per cent) up from 16, 28,986 (70.25 per cent) in 2001.
Out of the total rural population of 23,71,439, the Christian population was 18,17,419 or 76.63 per cent. In the urban areas, out of a population of 5,95,450, the Christian population was 3,95,608 or 66.43 per cent.
At the district level, West Khasi Hills has 95.67 per cent of the population professing Christianity. East Khasi Hills with 65.79 per cent has the lowest professing the religion. Ri-Bhoi has 84.41 per cent and Garo Hills region (three districts) 73.63 per cent Christian population. Jaintia Hills has 68.73 per cent Christian population.
The sharpest decline of 2.83 per cent was registered amongst those professing �other religions and persuasions�, that include indigenous faiths practised by the Garos and Khasi-Jaintia population.
Population of this group decreased from 2,67,245 (11.53 per cent) in 2001 to 2,58,271 (8.70 per cent) in 2011. The Hindu population registered 11.52 per cent out of the total population with 3,42,078 persons professing the faith in 2011. According to the 2001 census, the Hindu population was 13.27 per cent with 3, 07,822 persons out of the total population.
Meanwhile, the Muslim population rose from 99,169 (4.27 per cent) in 2001 to 1, 30,399 (4.39 per cent) during 2011, registering a marginal rise of 0.12 per cent.
Moreover, there were 3,045 individuals from the Sikh community, 9,864 Buddhists, 627 Jains and 9,578 persons who did not state their religion.