Goa

Introduction

Goa is the smallest state in India, located on its western coast. It is bordered by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the south. Its capital is Panaji, but the largest city in the state is Vasco de Gama as per the 2011 census. The official language of the state is Konkani but English and Marathi are also spoken. Goa is comprised of 2 districts.

Demographics

The population of Goa, as of 2011, was approximately 1 million people. This figure means that Goa comprises 0.12% of the total population of India. The overall sex ratio of the state is 973 per 1000 males, with a ratio of 956 per 1000 males in urban areas and 1003 per 1000 males in rural areas. Goa’s literacy rate has increased substantially and currently resides at 88.70%. However, there is a large gender disparity in literacy rate, as males have a literacy rate of 92.65% while females have a literacy rate of 84.66%. Despite large Portuguese influence in the state, the majority of Goans (66.08%) still follow Hinduism. However, Christianity is the second largest religion with 25.10% of the population as followers. Other religions practiced in Goa are Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism. The majority of Goa’s population (62.17%) lives in urban areas, leaving 37.83% to live in rural areas.

Economy

Goa’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) in 2014-15 was approximately $8.23 billion, the highest in the entire country. Its key industries include tourism due to its beautiful beaches and scenery, as well as mining, pharmaceuticals, and fishing. Although Goa is a small state, it collects much revenue through the tourism industry. However, despite this fact, unemployment in Goa remains high. 8.5% of Goa’s population is unemployed, according to an article from June 2015.

Politics

Although the majority of India fell under the rule of the British prior to independence, Goa used to be occupied by the Portuguese. However, it joined India in 1962 and gained statehood in 1987. The first two parties in Goa were the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the United Goans Party (UGP). The MGP emerged victorious in the first election. The major conflict between the two parties emerged from the question of Goa’s identity. Supporters of the MGP felt that Goa’s identity was close to Maharashtra’s, while the UGP stuck closely to their Goan identity. In 1992, the UGP finally got its way and Konkani became the official language of Goa. Goa’s current Chief Minister is Laxmikant Parsekar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its governor is Smt. Mridula Sinha, also of the BJP.

Further Reading

Rubinoff, A.G. 2013. How Different Are Goa’s Politics?. Studies in Indian Politics, 1(2): 203-212.