The Republic of India is bordered by the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. With 1.3 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world and the seventh largest country by geographical size. About 40 percent of Indians live in urban areas, such as New Delhi (the capital), Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. The population is ethnically Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, and Mongoloid, while identifying religiously as predominantly Hindu, and also Muslim, Christian, and Sikh. The most common languages spoken include Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu, Kannada, Odia, Malayalam, Punjabi, Assamese, and Maithili. English is one of the main official languages, along with 22 other recognized languages.

India gained independence from Britain in 1947, at which point the British Indian Empire split into two independent countries: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Since the 2000s, India has made immense progress on poverty-alleviation efforts, lifting 90 million people out of poverty between 2011 and 2015. Other improvements include bringing 20 million children into primary school, increasing upper primary school enrollment by 10 percent, and improving rural water supply and sanitation. Gains have also been made in the healthcare sector, which has tackled issues such as maternal mortality, infectious disease, and quality of healthcare services.

Improvements in medical and public healthcare services since independence has increased life expectancy by 25 years. Smallpox was eradicated in 1977 and malaria is nearly so. Social services and quality of life continue to improve, with more deaths naturally resulting from non-communicable, rather than communicable, disease. Deaths due to ischemic heart disease, COPD, stroke, and diabetes increased by about 30–50 percent between 2009 and 2019. Other main causes of death include diarrheal diseases, neonatal disorders, lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, cirrhosis, falls, road injuries, and self-harm. Common risk factors include malnutrition, air pollution, high blood pressure, high fasting plasma glucose, dietary risks, high body-mass index, high LDL, alcohol and tobacco use, and insufficient water, sanitation, and hygiene.

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