Why Sikhism Growth Rate is Declining in Punjab & India?

Sikhism is the youngest religion that was founded in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh. There are a lot of ideal rules that one has to follow in the religion of Sikhism. Sikhism is the religion that just believes in only one God. There are a lot of followers which are called “Sikhs“, and the holy book of Sikhs is called Guru Granth Sahib. There are 27 million people who are the followers of Sikhism, and thus, it is the ninth largest religion in the world.

However, according to the religion-based data that was released by the central government, there is a sharp decline in the number of Sikhs in the country.

It is to be noted that in the period of 2001-11 that counts as an entire decade, the population of Sikhs have grown at a very lower rate as compared to the Hindus which is not a great news for Sikhism. Sikhs have also recorded the growth of the last decade growth of 8.42 percent only in front of 16.76 percent of the Hindus and just 17.72 percent of the total population of India. Also it is to be noted that the rate of growth of Sikhs, counting the ones that live outside Punjab has stayed just 4.42 percent which is too less actually.

Sikh Population in India State Wise:

Growth Rate of Sikh Population in Punjab & Haryana

This data demands a fast action and thus it indicates a sharp decline in the count of Sikhs, especially in Punjab and also its neighbourhood, but there had also been a sharp deterioration in the number of Sikhs in a lot of States in India and also there is a large number of districts which are across the country.

Also in Haryana as well, the share of Sikhs has been on a declining spree ever since 1961 and if you consider the case in Chandigarh, then this has been the scenario since 1971. Also in Haryana, the share of the Sikh population has come down from 6.81 percent in 1961 to 4.91 percent in 2011. But during the decade of 2001-11, not only had there been a deterioration in the share of Sikhs but also the absolute number has even declined in the state of Chandigarh and that too is not just one or two but a total of 10 out of the 21 districts of the state of Punjab.

Sikh Population in Canada

According to Wikipedia 2011 National Household Survey, 468,670 Sikh people 1.4% of Canadian people is living in Canada and this data is increasing year by year. Even, Indian Sikh is getting higher positions in Canada’s Govt Office.

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Is there actually a decline in Sikhism or is it just a misconception?

There are also a lot of people and a lot of data that has rubbished the fact that the population of Sikhs has declined, they say that the decline of Sikhs in India is just a misreading of the Census by religion. They say that it is just the rate of population growth that has been deteriorating and thus, they think that it is a great thing as India is already an overpopulated country and thus, in such a country if there is a community that is not increasing the population dramatically then it should be a thing to rejoice and give Sikhs the complete credit and appreciation for.

Also this fact also needs to be realized upon is that the fact that all the communities in the country have been able to control the growth in population while some of them have been really successful, some of them have shown moderate growth. So it can actually be considered an achievement of the Sikh community in curbing the population growth.

So there are a lot of challenges that have been posing as a threat to the Sikhs in the country so population can be surely kept in the back burner for now.

What are the main reasons why Sikhism Growth Rate is declining?

Also according to most people and reports, the major reason for the declining Sikh population can be counted as the migration that people do from Punjab to the West and also the second major reason can be counted as the growing awareness among people to have smaller families. And also, drugs can be counted as all the wrong things in Punjab. Some people claim that the main reasons of all the problems in Punjab are drugs which is even causing impotency among boys which even results in fewer births. Some people have even stated that decline in the number of Sikh Population is also because of so many people who marry out of their own religion. That results in the majority of their kids not being Sikhs. However, according to a report, the major reason of declining Sikh population is because of Sikhs going for pre-birth sex determination and their preference for a male child instead of female. It is a matter of shame that in spite of living in the twenty first century and so much progress being made, we still have to talk about issues like Female foeticide. Let us understand each and every reason in detail behind this decline of Sikhism.

Why is Sikh Population declining in India?


As per the Demographers and sociologists, the reason for the decrease in the number of Sikhs in our country can be because of a variety of reasons but most of them zero out on the fact that the most important reason out of all of these is the really high rate of the number of Sikhs who are migrating to the foreign lands since the last few decades. It is also not a hidden fact that all the Punjabis, and especially the Sikhs do have an obsession for foreign lands where they are fascinated with the foreign lands and think it to be mandatory to migrate to foreign lands. Also another really major factor is the Conversion of people from Sikhism to other religions which is a strong reason for the decline in the population of Sikh people in Punjab and this has certainly become a cause of concern for the community leaders of Sikhs.

There is also a counter-argument that states that migration cannot be blamed to be the reason for the decline of Sikh Population in India, according to a report, there are 1.6 million Sikhs in the world outside the nation. Thus, the number of Sikhs and Hindus migrating outside India cannot be blamed for the decrease in the number of Sikhs in the last decade.

Immigration of Non-Sikhs can also be the reason for the deterioration of the Sikh Population in Punjab. Also the fact that needs to be considered is that most Sikhs in Punjab are usually in some agricultural form or in some form of labor.


Another reason that can be claimed for as the reason of the declining rate of population of Sikhs in the country can be because of the show-offs that is generally associated with the Punjabi population as there are a lot of show off, glitz and glamour that is associated to the Punjabi population. The weddings of Punjabis are famous all over the world because of the glitz and glamour that is associated with it. Thus, Punjabi population has a preference for the male child as compared to the female child, because of high expenditure including dowry during weddings. The sex ratio of Sikhs can be seen as just 896 females as compared to 1000 males which result in the decline of the Sikh population. This is worst sex ration of any community among all the religion.

The ratio is just 896 females for every 1000 males for the Sikhs which is very less compared to the number 943:1000 in the total population of India. If we take overall sex ration of Delhi, Punjab & Haryana, Still it’s least in all religions.

Thus, it is highly important to stop female foeticide in order to stop the decline of sikhism in the country.

3. Drugs.

According to a study in AIIMS, Punjab spends more than Rs 7000 crores on Drug annually out of which Rs 6000 crores has been spent on heroin alone, Udta Punjab was a great film as it brought the problem of drugs to public notice. Most of the drugs over there are smuggled through the Indo- Pakistan border. Thus, this state of Punjab is certainly to take notice of and some immediate measures must be taken up so that this can be controlled. Also this has to be noticed that this is a major problem in Punjab which is causing a decline in the population of Sikhs. Another problem of Punjab happens to be alcoholism as in just the state of Punjab 29 crore bottles of alcohol are consumed.

While at one time, Punjab was one of the most luxurious states in India and there was a time when Sikhs enjoyed all the luxuries in the world while being in the richest state in the country. There is a really difficult kind of phase that Punjab is going through with an epidemic kind of situation because of drugs and alcohol addiction in the youth of Punjab.

Other than that, Punjab is also facing many issues like female infanticide, low birth rates, farmer suicides, caste discrimination, mass outward emigration and even religious conversion.


There has also been a really huge increase in the number of deras with some of them that have even lakhs of followers, most of the deras are in Punjab and has sikh population who are the major followers in the deras.

Some reports and experts suggest that migration from Punjab to West is certainly one of the reasons for declining sikh population but then one of the major factors they think is people leaving Sikhism and joining deras in Punjab.

In the deras, there are a lot of promises which are made by the babas of the deras that lures people towards the deras. Now there are a lot of people who are turning towards the deras. Thus these deras are giving a wrong direction to Sikhism and is definitely one of the reasons that is a strong reason in decline of Sikhism.

5. People do not want to follow the customs.

There are many reasons for the decline in Sikhism, one of them being that the guys and girls of today’s generation do not want to be bound up in rules and regulations. The reason being that the parents do not have time for the children to teach them about the religion and teachings of Sikhism. Also one needs to know the fact that today the youth of the country is highly influenced by the movies and the glamour world. The fact that we need to consider is we do not have a single Sikh male superstar in Bollywood and this is definitely a cause of concern. The young minds are impressionable, they want to be glamorous and thus, there is a going away from Sikhism. Also the fact that there are a lot of customs to be followed which makes the Sikh feel that it is way too much of responsibility. Actually, there are around 52 rules that one has to follow in order to be a practice of Sikhism which actually becomes too much for people to do.

What can Sikh Community do to stop the Sikh population from declining further?

So if Sikhs are actually declining then definitely there has to be some measures that can be taken to stop the Sikhs from declining. One such way is using the internet, we all know about the power of the internet, so the internet can actually glorify Sikhs and thus remind people of how great Sikhism is and how they should accept their religion with utmost pride and it is their identity that they should not lose under any circumstances.

There should be good teachings given to the Sikh kids about their religion so that when they grow up they take the utmost pride in the fact that they are Sikhs.

In this case, the media, television they should also try in making being Sikh a normal thing as is being in any other religion, they should encourage more Sikhs in the industry and the parents must teach their kids about the pride one has in being a Sikh.

Also Guru Granth Sahib should be heard by each and every Sikh and the Godmen should not be entertain. Also Sikhs should encourage each other in reaching out to their journey of religion and sincerity. Thus, it is highly important to stop female foeticide in order to stop the decline of Sikhism in the country.

As it’s a broad topic, I request all my Sikh brothers to let us know what do you think about Sikhism population in India? Is there anything we missed or Is there anything you want to add in this topic?


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