12 Major Tribes of Jammu and Kashmir

Men from Bakarwal Community with their tribe of Goats
Men from Bakarwal Community with their tribe of Goats
There are 12 major tribes in Jammu and Kashmir. Each of these tribes has its own unique identity and culture. Most of them follow argarian lifestyle and live in rural areas. However, an urban shift can be observed among tribal population of Jammu and Kashmir following the national trend. There is an overall improvement in conditions of tribal women thanks to increasing literacy and different women and community empowerment schemes initiated by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and Government of India.

The 12 Scheduled Tribes of Jammu and Kashmir are:
1. Gujjar
2. Bakarwal
3. Gaddi
4. Sippi
5. Balti
6. Beda
7. Bot
8. Brokpa (Dard)
9. Changpa
10. Garra
11. Mon
12. Purigpa

As of 2011 census, the overall population of all tribal community of Jammu and Kashmir stood at above 14.93 lakh which is 11.9 per cent of overall population of Jammu and Kashmir population. Gujjar forms the largest tribal group of Jammu and Kashmir with the population of 9.80 lakhs (65 per cent of all J&K state tribal population). Gujjars are followed by Bakarwal with a population of 1.13 lakhs and Bot with a population of 91.49 thousnad.

The male to female ratio is 924 which is lower than national sex ratio of 943 but better than state sex ratio of 889. Bot or also known as Boto is the outlier as they boast the sex ratio of 1020. Bakarwals are the worst in terms of sex ratio, which stands at 899 females per 1000 males. However, the child sex ratio is also significantly dropped from 979 in 2001 to 912 in 2011 and it is raising the concern among social scientist.

The overall literacy of tribal population of Jammu and Kashmir stood at 50.6 per cent (2011) which is a big jump from previous 37.5 per cent mark (2001). The male literacy stand at 60.6 and female at 39.7. Bot community is again leading in terms of female literacy with 61.6 per cent.

The majority of the population (both tribal and non-tribal) in Jammu and Kashmir follows Islam followed by Hinduism and Budhdism. Most of the Gujjar, Brokpa and Bakarwal community follow Islam (99 per cent). Gaddi primarily follows Hinduism (98.7 per cent) and Bots follow Buddhism (96 per cent).

Statistical Data of Scheduled Tribes of Jammu and Kashmir


Source: Ministry of Tribal Affairs