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Sikhism has about 20 million believers worldwide but has an importance far beyond those numbers because Sikhs have played a disproportionately large role in the armed forces and public affairs in India for the last 400 years. Although most Indian Sikhs (79 percent) remain concentrated in the state of Punjab, nearly 3.5 million Sikhs live outside the state, while about 4 million live abroad. This Sikh diaspora, driven by ambition and economic success, has made Sikhism a world religion as well as a significant minority force within the country.
Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.
Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.
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