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December 2004

India, 2001

India, 2001

India is located in Southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, surrounded by Burma, China and Pakistan. Although India occupies only 2.4% of the world's land area, it supports over 15% of the world's population. Only China has a larger population. Almost 40% of Indians are younger than 15 years of age. About 70% of the people live in more than 550,000 villages, and the remainder in more than 200 towns and cities.

India's population continues to grow at about 1.8% per year and is estimated at one billion. While its GDP is low in dollar terms, India has the world's 13th-largest GNP. About 62% of the population depends directly on agriculture. Industry and services sectors are growing in importance and account for 26% and 48% of GDP, respectively, while agriculture contributes

about 25.6% of GDP. More than 35% of the population live below the poverty line, but a large and growing middle class of 150-200 million has disposable income for consumer goods.

CIA World Factbook; U.S. State Department Background Notes, 03/2000