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India population rises to 1.21 billion

Hindu devotees throw colored powder while celebrating 'Holi,' the festival of color, at the Bankey Bihari Temple on March 21, 2011 in Vrindavan, India. Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon the lunar month Phalguna which usually falls in the later part of February or March. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
Hindu devotees throw colored powder while celebrating 'Holi,' the festival of color, at the Bankey Bihari Temple on March 21, 2011 in Vrindavan, India. Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon the lunar month Phalguna which usually falls in the later part of February or March. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

NEW DELHI, March 31 (UPI) -- India's current population stands at 1.21 billion, up 181 million from 10 years ago, a preliminary 2011 census report said Thursday.

The new numbers represent 17.5 percent of the world's total population, and are nearly equal to the combined population in the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan, the report said.

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China's population, the largest in the world, accounts for 19.4 percent of the world total.

India's 10-year population growth of 181 million, however, was significantly slower than in the past nine decades, the Press Trust of India reported.

India's current male population totals 623.7 million males against 586.5 million females, C. Chandra Mauli, the country's census commissioner said.

He expressed "grave concern" that the society's preference for boys has brought the sex ratio among children to 914 females for every 1,000 males, the lowest since 1947 when India became a free country.

PHOTOS: 2011 Holi festival of color in India

India's northern Uttar Pradesh ranked as the most populous state with 199 million people, and Lakshadweep the least populated with 64,429 people.

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