Madhya Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh, the second largest state by area and the fifth largest state by population is a state in central India. It is known as the heart of India due to its central location. It was the largest state in India till the formation of Chhattisgarh in 2000. Madhya Pradesh is bordered by the states of Rajasthan to the northwest, Uttar Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Gujarat to the west and Maharashtra to the south. The capital of Madhya Pradesh is Bhopal.


As per the 2011 census, Madhya Pradesh has a population of approximately 72 million people. Among them, the majority of the population practices Hinduism (90.89%) followed by Islam (6.57%).  In Madhya Pradesh, 72.37% of the population lives in rural areas whereas the remaining 27.63% live in urban areas. The average literacy rate is 69.3%. Rural areas have an average literacy rate of 63.94% while urban areas have a literacy rate of 82.85%. Madhya Pradesh has a sex ratio of 931 females per 1000 males, which is below the national average of 940. The official language of the state is Hindu and is the most widely spoken, followed by Marathi.


Madhya Pradesh is currently one of the fastest growing states in India, with a gross domestic state product (GDSP) of $84.27 billion in 2014-2015. Madhya Pradesh has a primarily agrarian economy. Due to the state’s soil and climatic conditions, it is a primary producer of coarse cereals, oilseeds and soybean. Its key industries include auto industry, agro-based and forest-based industries, textiles, manufacturing and tourism. The state is rich in natural resources like fuels, minerals, agriculture and biodiversity. Madhya Pradesh has the largest reserves of diamond and copper in India as well as 8.3% of India’s coal reserves. According to a study by the World Bank and KPMG, Madhya Pradesh ranks fifth among states in India in terms of the ease of doing business and reforms implementation.



The current Governor of Madhya Pradesh, who is the constitutional head of the state, is Ram Naresh Yadav. The current Chief Minister (CM) Shivraj Singh Chouhan heads the state legislature. The Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly is unicameral and comprised of 230 members. The main political parties are the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Congress. The current Governor and CM are from the BJP. In the 2013 state assembly elections, the BJP won 165 out of 230 seats, defeating the Congress. The CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan was elected as the Chief Minister for a third term.

Further reading

Madhya Pradesh: The undiscovered polity of India (DNA India)

Pai, S. (2010). Developmental state and the Dalit question in Madhya Pradesh: Congress response. New Delhi: Routledge.