16 facts about India that will blow your mind


India is one of the world’s largest economies, and it has the second largest population. This means things in India tend to be fairly large-scaled — consider its network of roads, consumer spending, or its youth population. But it also experiences some problems on a large scale like suicides and road accidents. We pulled together some staggering statistics from the sub-continent.

India’s road network is long enough to loop around Earth over 117 times.

indias-road-network-is-long-enough-to-loop-around-earth-over-117-timesNASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr

India’s road network totals 4.7 million kilometers and is the second largest in the world. Earth has a circumference of 40,075 kms.

Source: CIA World FactBook

New Delhi’s air is the most polluted in the world.

new-delhis-air-is-the-most-polluted-in-the-worldAP Photo/ Manish Swarup

The World Health Organization found that New Delhi’s PM 2.5 — particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less and that is dangerous for lungs — mean was 152 micrograms per cubic meter. This was nearly three times that of Beijing which has an annual mean of 59.

Source: The New York Times

The wettest place in the world is in India, and it averages about 40 feet of rain a year.

the-wettest-place-in-the-world-is-in-india-and-it-averages-about-40-feet-of-rain-a-yearWikimedia Commons

While Cherrapunji, India, likes to advertise itself as the wettest place in the world, it is argued that a neighboring town, Mawsynram, could in fact top it. On average, Mawsynram gets about 467.35 inches of rain per year, while Cherrapunji gets up 463.66 inches. Hawaii’s Mount Waialeale receives about 450 inches of rain each year.

Source: Weather.com

One person died on the road in India every three minutes in 2012.

one-person-died-on-the-road-in-india-every-three-minutes-in-2012REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal

India saw 138,258 people die in road accidents in 2012. But in terms of the number of deaths per 100,000, India’s accident death rate equaled 18.9 for every 100,00 people, only slightly higher than the global average of 18.

Source: Quartz

India will become the world’s youngest country by 2020.
india-will-become-the-worlds-youngest-country-by-2020REUTERS/Jim Young

By 2020, the median age in India will be 29. The population in the 15-34 age group is expected to rise from 430 million in 2011 to 464 million in 2021.

Source: The Hindu

India consumes about half of the world’s whiskey.

india-consumes-about-half-of-the-worlds-whiskeyREUTERS/Vivek Prakash

India consumed about 1.2 billion liters of whiskey in 2012. While India is the world’s largest whiskey market by volume, on a per capita basis, France takes the top spot.

Source: Quartz

India exports over $415 million worth of hair a year.

india-hair-1REUTERS/Philip Brown

Hindus donate their hair in temples as a spiritual offering, especially those who can’t afford to donate money or jewelry. About 40,000 pilgrims are believed to donate their hair every day.

Source: The Economic Times


India’s 25 richest people have a combined net worth of $174.8 billion, which is about as much as Ukraine’s GDP.

indias-25-richest-people-have-a-combined-net-worth-of-1748-billion-which-is-about-as-much-as-ukraines-gdpREUTERS/Pascal Lauener

Mukesh Ambani is India’s richest man and is worth $24.2 billion. Ukraine has a nominal GDP of $176.2 billion, according to the IMF.

Source: Forbes

About 25% of India’s land is turning into desert — that’s the equivalent of three United Kingdoms.

about-25-of-indias-land-is-turning-into-desert--thats-the-equivalent-of-three-united-kingdomsREUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Overuse and changing rainfall patterns have led to massive land degradation in India. Of the land in India, 81 million hectares (810,000 km2) face “desertification.” This has raised concerns about food security.

Source: Reuters

Consumer spending in India is expected to triple by 2020.

consumer-spending-in-india-is-expected-to-triple-by-2020REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Indian consumer spending is projected to rise to $3.6 trillion in 2020, from $991 billion in 2010.

Source: Boston Consulting Group

India has the world’s largest dairy cow population.

india-has-the-worlds-largest-dairy-cow-populationAP Photo

There were 44.9 million dairy cows in India in 2011 and about 260 dairy million cows in the world. Of the world’s dairy cows, 17.2% reside in India.

Source: DairyCo

India saw 371 suicides a day in 2012.

india-saw-371-suicides-a-day-in-2012Business Insider/Andy Kiersz

In 2012, 135,445 people committed suicide in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Suicide rates were the highest in Puducherry at 36.8 for every 100,000 people. Student suicides are a huge problem as well.

Source: The Hindu

India’s medical tourism industry is set to equal $2 billion by next year — that’s about the GDP of Greenland.

indias-medical-tourism-industry-is-set-to-equal-2-billion-by-next-year--thats-about-the-gdp-of-greenlandClevver Movies via YouTube

Medical tourism in India is centered on orthopedics and cardiology. “India is the world’s medical travel thrift destination with savings of 60-90% on an array of procedures. Harvard-affiliated Wockhardt Hospital has performed more than 20,000 heart procedures, with 98%+ success rates (surpassing US and EU standards).”

Source: Medical Tourism Resource Guide/The Economic Times

India has over 275 billion tons of coal reserves: That’s the equivalent of 1.37 billion blue whales.

india-has-over-275-billion-tons-of-coal-reserves-thats-the-equivalent-of-137-billion-blue-whalesKevin Frayer/AP Photo

India is expected to pass the U.S. to become the world’s second largest coal consumer over the next 20 years. This will primarily be driven by its electric power sector. A blue whale weighs 200 tons.

Source: EIA/Business Standard

India was the fourth most dangerous country for journalists last year.

india-was-the-fourth-most-dangerous-country-for-journalists-last-yearREUTERS/Utpal Baruah

India saw 13 reporters killed in 2013, according to the International News Safety Institute (INSI). Syria and Iraq, both countries dealing with armed conflict, had the highest number of deaths, followed by the Philippines.

Source: Reuters


The most expensive home in India cost $1 billion to make, about the same as Somalia’s GDP.


Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s home, Antilla, cost $1 billion to construct, making it the most expensive home in the world. Somalia has a GDP of $1.3 billion.

Source: Business Insider


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