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Meitei Population Dwindles from 59 to 43 Percent in Manipur

Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by SPN Editor

Imphal/ August 27, 2023 (SPN) | In light of the violence that erupted in Manipur on May 3, a controversy has emerged surrounding the representation of the Meitei population.

The data, which originally indicated that the Meitei population constitutes 43.82 percent, was mistakenly presented as 53 percent, portraying them as the dominant group in the state. However, historical census records prior to Manipur’s loss of independence in 1891 reveal that in 1881, the Meitei population stood at 59.16 percent.

Moreover, during the historical period known as the “Chahi Taret Khuntakpa” or the “Seven Years Devastation,” an estimated 3,00,000 Manipuris, primarily Meiteis, were reportedly taken to Myanmar between 1819 and 1826. This event has left a significant mark in the annals of Manipur’s history.

Media reports circulating claims of the dominant Meitei population engaging in harassment and torture of minority tribals have been found to be inaccurate. This news has been in circulation since the onset of the violence in Manipur, with Churachandpur town at the heart of the ethnic tensions.

Contrary to recent media reports that place the Meitei population at 53 percent in Manipur, accurate information has revealed that their current proportion is actually 43.82 percent. The discrepancy may have arisen from the inclusion of Meitei Pangals and other unspecified groups in the calculation.

The population breakdown of various communities, as sourced from the Census of India, is as follows:

Year 1881

  • Meiteis: 1,30,796 (59.16%)
  • Nagas Groups: 59,904 (27.10%)
  • Kukis & Mizo Groups: 17,204 (7.78%)
  • Old Kuki Groups: 8,180 (3.70%)
  • Meitei Pangals: 4,881 (2.21%)
  • Unspecified Tribes: Unavailable
  • Others: 105 (0.05%)
  • Total population: 2,21,070 (100%)

Year 2011

  • Meiteis: 12,51,307 (43.82%)
  • Nagas Groups: 6,73,803 (23.59%)
  • Kuki & Mizo Groups: 4,48,214 (15.69%)
  • Old Kuki Groups: 24,599 (0.86%)
  • Meitei Pangals: 2,39,836 (8.40%)
  • Unspecified Tribes: 20,806 (0.73%)
  • Others: 1,97,229 (6.91%)
  • Total population: 28,55,794 (100%)

These figures underscore the demographic shifts that have occurred over the years and highlight the need for accurate representation when discussing population proportions in Manipur.

It is also estimated that the population of Meitei will further sink in the latest Census record of 2022.

As per Aadhar statistics, Manipur population in 2022-2023 is around 30 lakhs.