The number of seats in India’s Parliament hasn't increased in 43 years — but the population has more than doubled


  • India’s lower house of Parliament, the Lok Sabha, has 543 seats.
  • This might seem like a lot of seats, but considering India’s population is 1.34 billion, each seat accounts for nearly 1.6 million Indians.
  • In fact, a seat in the UK Parliament accounts for 44,000 members of the general populace. Meanwhile, a seat in Indonesia and Brazil account for 366,000 and 341,000 citizens each.
  • The number of seats in the Lok Sabha hasn’t changed since 1976, when an amendment to the Constitution Act imposed a hold on the readjustment of seats as per population figures from the latest Census.

The first phase of polling for elections to India’s lower house of Parliament, the Lok Sabha, gets underway this week. Over the course of seven weeks, around 900 million people will vote to fill 543 seats in the Lok Sabha.

This might seem like a lot of seats, but considering India’s population is 1.34 billion, each seat accounts for nearly 1.6 million Indians - a staggering figure when compared to other countries, developing and developed.


As per figures compiled by the State Bank of India’s research arm, a parliamentary seat in India represents the most number of people in the world. For the sake of comparison, at 650 seats, the UK has 107 more Parliamentary constituencies than India but a fraction of the population.

In fact, a seat in the UK Parliament accounts for 44,000 members of the general populace. Meanwhile, a seat in Indonesia and Brazil account for 366,000 and 341,000 citizens each.

The number of seats in the Lok Sabha hasn’t changed since 1976, when an amendment to the Constitution Act imposed a hold on the readjustment of seats as per figures from the latest Census. At the time, the number of seats was decided upon according to the population total from the 1971 Census, which was 548 million.

In fact, as per an amendment in 2001, the freeze on Parliamentary seats and allocations to states has been imposed till 2026. The most recent Census in 2011 pegged the Indian population at 1.21 billion.


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