Meghalaya

Introduction

Meghalaya is a state located in the Northeast of India, bordered by Assam to the north and Bangladesh to the south. Its capital is Shillong. The state has many official languages, including English, Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia. Other languages spoken in Meghalaya include Nepali, Haijong, Pnar-Synteng, Bengali, Assamese, and Hindi. Meghalaya is comprised of 7 districts.

 

Demographics

The population of Meghalaya is approximately 2.9 million persons, making it 0.25% of India’s total population. However, according to Meghalaya’s 2011 census, it is experiencing rapid population growth and indeed has the third-fastest growing state population in India. The sex ratio in Meghalaya is 989 per 1000 males, with 1001 per 1000 males in the urban areas and 986 per 1000 males in rural areas. The state’s literacy rate is 74.43%. In Meghalaya, males on average are more literate (75.95%) than females (72.89%). 74.59% of the population of Meghalaya follows Christianity, making it the most popular religion in the state. Hinduism is the next most popular religion, with 11.53% of the state’s population as followers. Other religions practiced in Meghalaya include Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. 20.07% of Meghalaya’s population lives in urban areas, leaving the remaining 79.93% to live in rural areas. Thus the state is largely rural.

Source

Economy

In 2014-15, Meghalaya’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) was $4.2 billion. Its key industries include agriculture, mining, tourism, and handicrafts. The majority of the state’s economy comes from its agriculture. Meghalaya produces various crops such as rice, corn, cotton, chillies, and potatoes. According to data from the 2009-10 census, Meghalaya’s unemployment rate is 11.6%.

Politics

Meghalaya became an autonomous state on January 21, 1972, as it was carved out of Assam. Thus the state is relatively young compared to India’s other states. Meghalaya’s current chief minister is Dr. Mukul Sangma of the Indian National Congress party, and its governor is Shri V. Shanmuganathan.

 

Further Reading

India’s undiscovered gem: the hills of Meghalaya (The Guardian)