Re: The Indian Census and the Bahai Population

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Posted by PatK ( on December 05, 2002 at 18:54:30:

In Reply to: The Indian Census and the Bahai Population posted by Stuart Gilman on December 05, 2002 at 09:06:10:

Allahu Abha!

AS far as I know, those are the official census counts in India in 1991. I have no idea how accurate they are, nor what the other categories of relgion were, nor how many people the census counters counted as a basis for scaling the measure.

I do know that there was a poll of American adult religious self-identification about that time. It showed only 28,000 Baha'is (Kosmin). A few years ago Fred Glaysher, Nima Hazini and Juan Cole decided to practice demographics and project a global Baha'i population, as well as a US Baha'i population. Here are some of their estimates. There was not only this attempt to 'correct' the Encyclopedia Brittanica, they also 'corrected various web sites, like

About the time these pseudo-demographers were 'correcting' people who specialized in the thing, Kosmin did another study estimating 84,000 self identified adult Baha'is in the US. Either the number of adult Baha'is in the US tripled in the decade (most unlikely!!!), or there was an undercount in the first count. My expectation is that people seldom count things that they don't even kow they are looking for. If India employed a million census-takers, and each missed their first two Baha'is before realizing they were supposed to be counting them as a religion, you would have a large percentage of error.

"A non-Baha'i historian from the University of Michigan who has scrutinized American Baha'i statistical practices has estimated a current (1999) figure of about 60,000 self-identified Baha'is in the U.S. But, with the ARIS survey now estimating 84,000 adult self-identified Baha'is in the U.S. in the year 2001, it appears that that historian's estimate is too low. If children are included and a slight undercount assumed, it is quite possible that there were closer to 100,000 (perhaps more) Baha'is in the U.S. in 2001."

I hope this helps.

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