In Madhya Pradesh, there are 43 schedules tribes and their total population is 1,53,16,784 (Census, 2011) which forms 14.7 per cent of the total scheduled tribes’ population of India, whereas the 21.1 per cent of the population of the state is scheduled tribe. Likewise, there are also 42 scheduled tribes in Chhattisgarh and their total population is 78,22,902 (Census, 2011) which is 7.5 per cent of the total scheduled tribes’ population of India, whereas the 30.6 per cent of the population of the state is scheduled tribe. There are 75 particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs) in the central list of India and the Baiga is one of them which mainly inhabits in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. A minor population also resides in the adjoining states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha and Bihar. According to 2011 census, the total population of the Baiga tribe in India is 5,52,495 (see Table-2). The population of the Baiga tribe is 4,14,526 in Madhya Pradesh and 89,744 in Chhattisgah. The major population of the Baiga tribe is found in Shahdol, Umaria, Singrauli, Mandla, Dindori, Anuppur, Sidhi, Balaghat, Kabir Dham, Bilaspur and Koriya districts of both the states. Sex Ratio among the Baiga in India is 993 (Soni, 2015). It is above the average sex ratio of the scheduled tribes of India, i.e., 990.
In Gondwana, home to the Gond tribe, Madhya Pradesh accommodates within its vast expanse perhaps the oldest part of the subcontinent.
The population of Scheduled Tribals (ST) is 21.1% of the state population (15.31 million out of 72.62 million), according to the 2011 census. Madhya Pradesh holds 1st rank among all the States/UTs in terms of ST population and 12th rank in respect of the proportion of ST population to total population.
The growth of the ST population during 1991-2001 has been 26.4 per cent, which is 2.1 per cent higher than the overall growth of total population (24.3 per cent). The State has a total of forty six (46) Scheduled Tribes, and all of them have been enumerated at 2001 census. 2.The Scheduled Tribe population in the State is overwhelmingly rural, with 93.6 per cent residing in rural areas. At district level, STs have returned the highest proportion in Jhabua district (86.8 per cent) followed by Barwani (67 per cent), Dindori (64.5 per cent) and Mandla (57.2 per cent) districts. Bhind district preceded by Morena and Datia has the lowest proportion of STs (0.5 per cent).
Out of forty six (46) STs, Bhil is the most populous tribe having a number of 4,618,068, constituting 37.7 per cent of the total ST population. Gond is the second largest tribe, with a population of 4,357,918 constituting 35.6 per cent. Four other STs in the descending order are Kol, Korku, Sahariya and Baiga. Along with Bhil and Gond, the six tribes constitute 92.2 per cent of the total ST population of the State. Pardhan, Saur and Bharia Bhumia have a population ranging from 105,692 to 152,472; together, they form 3.2 per cent. Four tribes, namely, Majhi, Khairwar, Mawasi and Panika having population in the range of 47,806 to 81,335 account for another 2.2 per cent of the ST population; remaining thirty three tribes along with the generic tribes constitute the residual 2.5 per cent of total ST population.
Tribes having below 1000 population are twelve in number. Of them, five tribes, namely, Mina, Andh, Birhul, Parja and Nagesia each have less than 500 population. 4.Bhils have the highest population in Jhabua district followed by Dhar, Barwani and West Nimar districts. Gonds have major concentration in Chhindwara, Mandla, Betul, Seoni and Shahdol districts. Other four major groups Kol, Korku, Sahariya and Baiga have registered the highest population in Rewa, East Nimar, Shivpuri and Shahdol districts respectively. The main tribal groups in Madhya Pradesh are Gond, Bhil, Baiga, Korku, Bhariya, Halba, Kaul, Mariya, and Sahariya. Dhar, Jhabua and Mandla districts have more than 50 percent tribal population. In Khargone, Chhindwara, Seoni, Sidhi and Shahdol districts 30 to 50 percent population is of tribes. Maximum population is that of Gond tribes.
The list of Scheduled Areas of MP is as follows: