World within a country: The size of India’s electorate in four charts

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The size of the electorate, which will vote in April and May this year to elect representatives to the 17th Lok Sabha, is as big as the combined electorates of 36 democracies in the world.

The electorate increased at an average rate of 11.2% every year since 1952. The gender ratio has remained constantly skewed — for every 52 voters who were men, there were 48 women.

 

 

(Figures for 2019 are provisional)

Even as the size of the electorate increased by 16.3% from 2009, the 2014 polls registered the highest ever turnout.

The overall number of candidates dropped significantly after the security deposit was increased from Rs. 500 to Rs, 10,000 in 1998. The share of women candidates improved slightly.

 

Another interesting pattern is the number of Lok Sabha constituencies and polling stations. The number of constituencies has increased from 401 in 1952 to 543 in 2014 (an increase of 35%). With an increase in the number of seats, the number of polling stations too have gone up from 1.96 lakh in 1952 to 9.28 lakh in 2014 (a five-fold increase).

Testing the biggest democracy

The latest electoral rolls released in January 2019 show that  89.78 crore people are registered to vote in the upcoming election.

The map below shows a comparison of State-wise electorates with those of other democracies around the world in  their latest elections.

For instance, Tamil Nadu’s electorate, which is 5.89 crore, is comparable to that of Turkey’s 5.93 crore. Uttar Pradesh’s (14.43 crore) is nearly as big as Brazil’s (14.73 crore).

 

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