Ethnic Nepalese are in majority. Bhutias and the Lepchas as well as Tibetans reside the state. Immigrant resident communities not native to the state include the Marwaris, who own most of the shops in South Sikkim and Gangtok; the Biharis, most of whom are employed in blue collar jobs; and the Bengalis. Hinduism is the majority religion in the state with 60.9% of the population, Buddhism forms a large minority with 28.1% of the population, Christians form 6.7% of the population and Muslims 1.4% of the population. Christians consisting mostly of people of Lepcha origin are converted to the faith after British missionaries started preaching in the region in the late 19th century. The state has never had inter-religious strife. The sex ratio is 875 females per 1000 males. With 50,000 inhabitants. The urban population in Sikkim is 11.06%. The per capita income stands at Rs. 11,356, which is one of the highest in the country.
Sikkim is allocated one seat in each of both chambers of India’s national bicameral legislature, the Lok Sabha, and the Rajya Sabha. There are a total of 32 state assembly seats including one reserved for the Sangha.
In 1947, a popular vote rejected Sikkim’s joining the Indian Union. Sikkim was given special protectorate with union government controlling its external affairs, defence, diplomacy and communications. A state council was established in 1955 to allow for constitutional government . Meanwhile Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for the Nepalese. In 1973, riots in front of the palace led to a formal request for protection from India. The Chogyal was proving to be extremely unpopular with the people. In 1975, the Kazi (Prime Minister) appealed to the Indian Parliament for a change in Sikkim’s status so that it could become a state of India. In April, the Indian Army moved into Sikkim, seizing the city of Gangtok and disarming the Palace Guards. A referendum was held in which 97.5% of the voting people (59% of the people entitled to vote) voted to join the Indian Union. A few weeks later, on May 16, 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the Indian Union and the monarchy was abolished.
Chinese disputed Sikkim as part of India and maintained it as an independent state occupied by India. China eventually recognized Sikkim as an Indian state in 2003, on the condition that India accepted Tibet Autonomous Region as a part of China.