You may not believe in any religion or god, but if you are in India,chances are that you belong to one. According to the 2011 census data released by the government, India has only a mere 33,000 atheists.
This would mean that in a country of over 1.25 billion people, atheists constitute only 0.0027 per cent of the population. Women form half the number and seven out of 10 atheists live in rural India.
According to media reports, Maharashtra, with 9,652 professed non-believers, tops in the number of atheists, followed by Meghalaya (9,089), Kerala (4,896) and Tamil Nadu (2,425). Lakshadweep has only one atheist and Dadra and Nagar Haveli four.
This number, however, is far more encouraging than a 2001 census report in which only a "handful of people" professed no faith in religion or god.
According to a Hindustan Times report, nearly 2.9 million or 0.24 per cent of the population are listed under 'religion not stated' category as they either refused to answer the question on religion or confused it with other identities.
A census official said a large number of people did not record their religion in the census saying that religion is personal matter.