By the Numbers: Indian Independence Day

The data driving Asia

With India’s Independence Day observed on August 15, we examine the history of India’s independence and growth since 1947 by looking at the numbers:


The number of years since India gained independence from the British Empire on August 15, 1947. It is also the number of years since India and Pakistan were officially partitioned into two states.


The number of days the flagship food and cultural festival, “Bharat Parv,” was held during this year’s Independence Day celebrations. Indian states were invited to showcase their state-centric cuisine in the government-organized festival in Delhi. The goal of the festival is to revive cultural awareness and appreciation in urban India. Artists from all over India have also been invited to perform folk dances during the festival.

60th Independence Day celebration in Bangalore, India on August 15, 2007. Source: $owmya’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.


10 to 12 million

The estimated number of Hindus and Muslims who crossed the new border between Pakistan and India in the following months after independence. There still isn’t a consensus on an actual number as many people trying to migrate to their country of choice were killed in communal attacks- most of which took place in Punjab, the state which borders Pakistan.


The number of Indian citizens alive today who were born in or before 1947. This number is an estimate based on data from the 2011 census conducted by the Indian government.


The number of years since the 1965 Indo-Pak war. This was the second war between the two countries over the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The United Nations stepped in to mediate the situation. Resolution 211, which called for a ceasefire, was unanimously passed on September 20, 1965. India agreed to the resolution on September 21and Pakistan on September 22. Following this, peace negotiations took place in January 1966 in which the Soviet Union was the third-party mediator. The Tashkent Agreement saw both sides giving up territorial claims on Jammu and Kashmir and withdrawing their armies from the disputed area.


The percent change in India’s population since 1947. With a population of around 350 million people at the time of independence, India has now grown to become the second-most populated country in the world with over 1.2 billion people, following China. Growth data even predicts that India will surpass China in population size by 2028.


The number of times the Indian national flag changed until its current form. It went through many iterations in 1906, 1907, 1917, and 1921. One flag, in 1917, even included the British Union Jack and the white crescent and star, which is on the current Pakistan flag. A resolution was passed in 1931 to adopt a tricolor flag- saffron, green and white- as the national flag. The initial flag had Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel in the center. However, in July 1947, the Constituent Assembly adopted the current national flag with the same colors, but with the Dharma Chakra of Emperor Ashoka at the center. The saffron and green colors represent the Hindu and Muslim communities respectively and the white in the middle represents the remaining communities present in India.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *