Kashmir: Religion

Current census figures1 for religious affiliation in Kashmir according to the BBC are:

Religious groups: Indian-administered Kashmir
Region Buddhist Hindu Muslim Other
Kashmir Valley 4% 95%
Jammu 66% 30% 4%
Ladakh 50% 46% 3%
Religious groups: Pakistani-administered Kashmir
Region Buddhist Hindu Muslim Other
Northern Areas 99%
Azad Jammu and Kashmir 99%

Courtesy of the Kashmir Study Group.

Also see here for more information.

Most of the Muslims in the Kashmir valley, Jammu province and Azad Kashmir are Sunnis. Shias, mainly Nizari Ismailis, dominate in the Northern Areas. Ladakh also has a large number of Shias.

Muslims are a majority in the Kargil district of Ladakh while Buddhists dominate in the Leh district. There are also some Sikhs, mostly in Jammu.

Overall, according to the 1981 census, Muslims are 74.9% of the population of Kashmir, followed by Hindus (22.6%) and Buddhists (0.8%).

According to the 1941 census2, the percentage of Muslim population in the districts of Kashmir was as follows:

District Muslim Controlled by
Gilgit Agency 99.99% Pakistan
Gilgit Wazarat 100.00% Pakistan
Ladakh 79.00% India
Baramula 96.49% India
Muzaffarabad 92.89% Pakistan
Punch 90.97% Pakistan
Srinagar 91.55% India
Mirpur 80.41% Pakistan
Riasi 54.79% India
Udhampur 43.15% India
Jammu 39.00% India
Kathua 25.45% India
TOTAL 77.11%

The “controlled by” data in the above table is based on who controls more of the district as some districts are divided by the Line of Control. For example, more than half of the Punch district is controlled by Pakistan but the town of Punch is on the Indian side of the line of control.

1 It is not clear which census results they are using. For India, the religious data for the 2001 census has not been released yet and it seems that the 1991 census was not conducted in Indian Kashmir due to “disturbed conditions”. Pakistan’s Population Census Organization does not have data for Northern areas or Azad Jammu and Kashmir in their online 1998 census tables.

2 My source for this is a map of Jammu and Kashmir state and Gilgit agency published by Information Division, Embassy of Pakistan, Washington D.C. in 1963 (found in my school library). I have checked a few figures online and they seem to be correct. If you have a better source for the 1941 census data online, please let me know.

Categorized as Kashmir

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. you provide interesting information specially when there are so many indian web site delivering fake statistics about jammu and kashmir.

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