JUN. 24, 2014, 4:41 AM
India is one of the world's largest economies and it has the second largest population.
This means things in India tend to be fairly large-scaled — consider its network of roads, consumer spending, or its youth population.
But it also experiences some problems on a large scale like suicides and road accidents.
We pulled together some staggering statistics from the sub-continent.
1) India's road network is long enough to loop around earth over 117 times.
NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr
India's road network totals 4.7 million kilometers and is the second largest in the world. Earth has a circumference of 40,075
Source: CIA World FactBook
2) New Delhi's air is the most polluted in the world.
AP Photo/ Manish Swarup
The World Health Organization found that New Delhi's PM 2.5 — particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less and that is dangerous for lungs — mean was 152 micrograms per cubic meter. This was nearly three times that of Beijing which has an annual mean of 59.
Source: The New York Times
3) The wettest place in the world is in India and it averages about 40 feet of rain a year.
While Cherrapunji, India likes to advertise itself as the wettest place in the world, it is argued that a neighboring town, Mawsynram could in fact top it. On average, Mawsynram gets about 467.35 inches of rain per year, while Cherrapunji gets up 463.66 inches. Hawaii's Mount Waialeale receives about 450 inches of rain each year.
4) One person died on the road in India every three minutes in 2012.
India saw 138,258 people die in road accidents every year in 2012. But in terms of the number of deaths per 100,000, India's accident death rate equaled 18.9 for every 100,00 people, only slightly higher than the global average of 18.
5) India will become the world's youngest country by 2020.
By 2020, the median age in India will be 29. The population in the 15-34 age group is expected to rise from 430 million in 2011 to 464 million in 2021.
Source: The Hindu
6) India consumes about half of the world’s whiskey.
India consumed about 1.2 billion liters of whiskey in 2012. While India is the world’s largest whiskey market by volume, on a per capita basis, France takes the top spot.
7) India exports over $415 million worth of hair a year.
Hindus donate their hair in temples as a spiritual offering, especially those that can’t afford to donate money or jewelry. 40,000 pilgrims are believed to donate their hair every day.
Source: The Economic Times
8) India's 25 richest people have a combined net worth of $174.8 billion, which is about as much as Ukraine's GDP.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries
Mukesh Ambani is India's richest man and is worth $24.2 billion. Ukraine has a nominal GDP of $176.2 billion, according to the IMF.
9) About 25% of India’s land is turning into desert — that’s the equivalent of three United Kingdoms
A camel trader herds his camels at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan.
Over-use and changing rainfall patterns have led to massive land degradation in India. 81 million hectares (810,000 km2) of land in India face 'desertification.' This has raised concerns about food security.
10) Consumer spending in India is expected to triple by 2020.
Indian consumer spending is projected to rise to $3.6 trillion in 2020, from $991 billion in 2010.
Source: Boston Consulting Group
11) India has the world's largest dairy cow population.
There were 44.9 million dairy cows in India in 2011, and about 260 dairy million cows in the world. 17.2% of the world's dairy cows reside in India.
12) India saw 371 suicides a day in 2012.
Business Insider/Andy Kiersz
135,445 people committed suicide in India in 2012, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Suicide rates were the highest in Puducherry at 36.8 for every 100,000 people. Student suicides are a huge problem as well.
Source: The Hindu
13) India's medical tourism industry is set to equal $2 billion by next year — that's about the GDP of Greenland.
Clevver Movies via YouTube
Medical tourism in India is centered on orthopedics and cardiology. "India is the world's medical travel thrift destination with savings of 60-90% on an array of procedures. Harvard-affiliated Wockhardt Hospital has performed more than 20,000 heart procedures, with 98%+ success rates (surpassing US and EU standards).
Source: Medical Tourism Resource Guide/The Economic Times
14) India has over 275 billion tons of coal reserves, that's the equivalent of 1.37 billion blue whales.
Kevin Frayer/AP Photo
India is expected to pass the U.S. to become the world's second largest coal consumer over the next 20 years. This will primarily be driven by its electric power sector. A blue whale weighs 200 tons.
Source: EIA/Business Standard
15) India was the fourth most dangerous country for journalists last year.
India saw 13 reporters killed in 2013, according to the International News Safety Institute (INSI). Syria and Iraq, both countries dealing with armed conflict, had the highest number of deaths, followed by the Philippines.
16) The most expensive home in India cost $1 billion to make about the same as Somalia's GDP.
Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani's home, Antilla, cost $1 billion to construct, making it the most expensive home in the world. Somalia has a GDP of $1.3 billion.
Source: Business Insider
Want to see some truly staggering statistics out of China instead?