According to the 2001 census of India, the total population of Karnataka is 52,850,562, of which 26,898,918 (50.9%) are male and 25,951,644 (49.1%) are female, or 1000 males for every 964 females. This represents a 17.3% increase over the population in 1991. The population density is 275.6 per km² and 34.0% of the people live in urban areas. The literacy rate is 66.6% with 76.1% of males and 56.9% of females being literate. 83% of the population are Hindu, 11% are Muslim, 4% are Christian, 0.8% are Jains, 0.7% are Buddhist, and with the remainder belonging to other religions.
Kannada is the official language of Karnataka and spoken as a native language by about 64.8% of the people. Other linguistic minorities in the state as of 1991 are Urdu (9.7%), Telugu(8.3%), Tamil (3.8%), Marathi (4.0%), Tulu (3.4%), Hindi (1.9%), Konkani (1.8%), Malayalam (1.7%) and Kodava Takk (0.3%). The state has a birth rate of 2.2%, a death rate of 0.7%, an infant mortality rate of 5.5% and a maternal mortality rate of 0.2%. The total fertility rate is 2.2.
In the field of super-specialty health care, Karnataka's private sector competes with the best in the world. Karnataka has also established a modicum of public health services having a better record of health care and child care than most other states of India. In spite of these advances, some parts of the state still leave much to be desired when it comes to primary health care.