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Demographics

As of 2001, Kochi had a population of 596,473, with a density of 6850.7 persons per square kilometre. Scheduled castes and tribes comprise 14.3% of the city's population. The female-to-male ratio is 1,024:1,000, significantly higher than the all-India average of 933:1,000. Kochi's literacy rate is 94.3%. The female literacy rate lags that of males by 1.1%, amongst the lowest such gaps in India.

Kochi's major religions are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam; Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, and Buddhism have smaller followings. Though 47% practise Hinduism, Christianity's large following (35%) makes Kochi a city with one of the largest Christian populations in India.


Slums next to high-rise commercial buildings in Kaloor, Kochi. Hundreds of people, mostly comprising migrant labourers who come to the city seeking job prospects, reside in such shabby areas.The majority of residents are Malayalis; however, there are significant ethnic minority communities including Tamils, Gujaratis, Jews, Sikkimese, Anglo-Indians, Konkanis, and Tuluvas. Malayalam is the main language of communication and medium of instruction, although English is more commonly used in business circles. Tamil and Hindi are widely understood—albeit rarely spoken.

Like other fast-growing cities in the developing world, Kochi suffers from major urbanisation problems, poor sanitation, and unemployment. However, a survey conducted in 2007 by a private agency considered Kochi to be the best city to live in India.

The city registered an increase of 9.7% in its unemployment rate from 14.8% in 1998 to 24.5% in 2003. Shortage of potable water is a major concern in the city. The situation is aggravated by the threat posed by pollution in industrial areas. The city also has a growing slum-dwelling population. The government has plans to make the city slum-free by 2016.  Kochi has a high suicide rate with 32 suicides per lakh, which is three times higher than the national average of 11.2 per lakh. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Kochi has one of highest rates of crime in India—498.6, against the national average of 287.3. However, a survey conducted by The Week, found Kochi to be the safest city in India for women.
Kochi has the highest density of telephones in India.[62] Telephony services are provided by various players like Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Indicom and the state owned BSNL.