State Profile

Odisha extends from 17°49‟ to 22° 34‟ North Latitude and from 81° 27‟ to 87° 29‟ East Longitude. It is surrounded by West Bengal in the north-east, Bihar and Jharkhand in the north, Andhra Pradesh in the south-east, Chhattisgarh in the west and Bay of Bengal in the east. It has a coastline of about 480 km and its total area is 1,55,707 square km. covering about 4.87 % of the total area of the Country.

The State is broadly divided into four geographical regions viz. the Northern Plateau, Central River Basins, Eastern Hills and Coastal Plains. The areas of the state north of latitude 20oN have elevation up to 500m above sea level, in general and in the south western districts, they rise to 1500-1600m above sea level. The eastern hill are elevated and are generally 900 m above sea level.


The State has a tropical climate, characterised by high temperature, high humidity, medium to high rainfall and short mild winters. The year may be divided into four seasons. The winter season from December to February is followed by the pre-monsoon or hot weather season from March to May. The period from June to September constitutes the southwest monsoon season and the period of October and November is the post-monsoon season. During the period from December to February, generally low temperatures prevail over the state except in the coastal belt. In the hot weather season from March to May, weather is generally dry and uncomfortable in the interior, while due to lower temperatures, the plateau regions are comparatively less uncomfortable. The normal rainfall of the State is 1,451.2 mm. The actual rainfall received, vary from district to district. About 75 percent to 80 percent of rainfall is received during the period from June to September. Even though the quantum of rain fall is quite high, its distribution during the monsoon period is highly uneven and erratic. As a result, flood and drought visit regularly with varying intensity. By mid-October, the south-west monsoon generally withdraws from Odisha.

The State can be divided into ten agro-climatic zones on the basis of soil, weather and other relevant characteristics. Its land can be classified into three categories, low (25.6%), medium (33.6%) and up-lands (40.8%) with various types of soils like red, yellow, red-loamy, alluvial, coastal alluvial, laterite and black soil, etc. with low and medium texture.

River and the Drainage System:

All the rivers of Odisha are primarily peninsular rivers and have originated from (a) the Chotanagpur plateau in Jharkhand, (b) the Amarkantak plateau in Chattisgarh, or (c) the Eastern Ghats within Odisha. All these rivers are non-perennial in character.

The main rivers in the state include:                                                             

  • Rivers originating from Chotanagpur plateau: These include Subarnarekha and Brahmani. While Subarnarekha‟s stretch within Odisha is small, Brahmani and its tributaries form an important drainage sub-system in
  • Rivers from the Amarkantak plateau: The Mahanadi and its tributaries (25 on the right bank and 2 on the left bank, more important among which are the Tel, the Jira and the Jhaun) form the largest drainage sub-system on the central eastern coast of India. The Mahanadi is divided into a series of distributaries and sub-distributaries.
  • Rivers originating in the Mahanadi delta: There are seven such rivers (the Samolia, the Gobari, the Prachi, the Kadua, the Dhanua, the Ratnachira and the Nuna).
  • Rivers from Keonjhar: The Baitrani, which has a total length of 344 km, with the tributaries, such as the Deo and the Indrani, forms a major drainage sub-system in Odisha. A peculiar feature of Baitarani is that in its lower reaches, it drains into the distributaries of the Brahmani, and has a common mouth to the Bay of Bengal at Dhamra.

Rivers from the eastern slopes of the Eastern Ghats: These rivers include the Budhabalanga, the Salandi, the Rushikulya and several other smaller streams.

Tidal Sections of the Rivers: The tidal sections of rives and their distributaries are confined to the lower reaches of the rivers in the coastal plain. The tidal sections vary as per the shape of the river mouth, depth of the channel, and extension of the sand bars in the river mouths. The tidal channels vary from a maximum of 90 km in the case of Brahmani to a minimum of 5 km in the case of Baghuni from their respective mouths. The Mahanadi is tidal for about 35 km, whereas the Devi, a distributary of the Mahanadi is tidal for 45 km.


The Odisha coast which is 480 km long and 10 – 100 km wide forms a part of east coast of India, The coastal territory is drained by a number of rivers like Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitarani, Devi, Budhabalanga, Subarnarekha Rushikulya and some other smaller ones. These rivers carry a large volume of sediments which have formed the above huge single delta. Hence the Odisha coast is under uninterrupted influence of freshwater flow and delta building processes. The coastline is in general oblique to the global wind system which generates strong littoral currents and represents one of the world‟s largest littoral drift areas. In the northern Odisha coast i.e. north of Dhamra coast, the tidal range increases and wave energy diminishes resulting in formation of mudflats. The brackish water coastal lagoon i.e. Chilika lagoon has been formed because of formation and growth of barrier spit from Paluru. The other important features of Odisha coast are mangroves, estuaries and other related sedimentary as well as sandy environments like sand dunes.

Forest and Environment:

Odisha is well endowed with forests and rich bio- diversity. It has 37.34 percent land under forest cover. Out of the sixteen major forest type groups in India, four forest types that exist in Odisha are: Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests (57.87 percent), Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests (39.88 percent), Tropical Semi Evergreen Forests (0.68 percent) and Littoral & Swam Forests (0.48 percent). Its natural endowments include Similipal National Park, Chilika Lake, Bhitarkanika Wild Life Sanctuary and mangrove forests. The mangrove cover in Odisha has increased to 231 sq kms in 2015, a rise by 8.45 percent over 2013. Odisha accounts for 11 percent of nation‟s water resource and is rich in several minerals including iron ore, bauxite, chromite, manganese and coal.

Demographic details:

 As per 2011 census, Odisha has 96, 61,085 number of households which is 3.9 percentage of the total number of households of India. The total population of the state is 4,19,74,218 (male-2,12,12,136 female-2,07,62,082), out of which 3,49,70,562 (83 %) lives in rural areas. The share of ST and SC population to total state population is 22.8 percent and 17.1 percent respectively. The decadal growth rate (2001-2011) of population is 14.0 and the density of population per sq km is 270. Odisha has a sex ratio (females per 1000 males) of 979. The child sex ratio (0-6 years) is 941. Odisha attained the literacy rate of 72.87 percent at par with the national average 72.99 percent in 2011 census registering a decadal increase of 9.8 percent between 2001 and 2011. The State‟s male literacy rate of 81.59 percent was marginally higher and female literacy rate of 64 percent was also at par with national averages by 2011. The SC and ST communities had relatively lower literacy rate of 69.02 and 52.24 percent in 2011.

According to Census 2011 the total workers of the state is 1,75,41,589 of which 61 percent are main workers and 39 percent are marginal workers. Although main workers in Odisha rose by 3.2 percent between 2001 & 2011, its share to total workers fell sharply from 67.2 percent to 61 percent during the same period. The prime concern is in the increase in under- employment in the State due to the rise in the percentage of marginal workers to total workers from 32.80 percent in 2001 to 38.96 percent in 2011. While the share of Agriculture sector in the State GSDP has come down to a level of around 18 percent, still the sector accounts for 62 percent of the total workforce as per 2011 Census. The work participation rate (2011) of Odisha is 41.8, in rural areas it is 43.2 while in urban areas it is 34.8.

Administrative divisions:

 Odisha is divided into 30 districts  for administrative convenience.  These are again regrouped into 3 revenue divisions (Central, Southern and Northern).

  • Central Division comprises of Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Puri, Khordha, Nayagarh, and Mayurbhanj
  • Southern Division includes Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Kandhamal, and Boudh districts
  • Northern Division covers Sambalpur, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Sundargrh, Dhenkanal, Angul, and Keonjhar

Odisha has 58 sub-divisions, 317 tahasils and 314 blocks. These 314 blocks comprise of 6,801 Gram Panchayats & 51,349 villages.  There are 5 Municipal Corporations, 45 Municipalities, 60 Notified Area Councils and 2 Industrial towns. There are 583 numbers of Police Stations and 317 No. of Fire Stations. The State is divided into 21 no. of Lok Sabha Constituencies and 147 no. of Assembly Constituencies.


The economy has been witnessing structural transformation from an agriculture-based economy to services and industries driven economy. The share of the broad agriculture sector which was around 55 percent of GSDP in 1950-51 has come down to a level of 19.91 percent by 2016-17, while the combined share of Industries and Services sectors has rose from 45 percent to 80.09 percent during the same period. 

Socio – Economic profile:

Land holding pattern is a prime determinant of the production structure and socio- economic conditions in a society. Operational land holdings in Odisha are classified as marginal, small, semi-medium, medium and large land holdings depending upon the area controlled in a single land holding. Distribution of operational holdings indicates that the total number of operational holdings has been increasing over the years but the area under holdings has been declining except for Scheduled Castes. As per 2000-01 agriculture census, the area of operational holdings of all social groups was 50.81 lakh hectares, which has declined to 50.19 lakh hectares in 2005-06 census and finally to 48.52 lakh hectares in 2010-11 census. The corresponding figures for scheduled caste stood at 5.14 lakh hectares, 5.26 lakh hectares, and 5.65 lakh hectares respectively for 2000-01, 2005-06 & 2010-11, while for scheduled tribes the figures were 16.31, 17.48 and 16.15 lakh hectares respectively. Land use in Odisha gives a contrasting picture in current decade. Between 2004-05 & 2011-12, the net sown area (NSA) depleted from 57.39 lakh hectares to 52.92 lakh hectares. But NSA increased from 52.92 lakh hectares to 56.08 lakh hectares between 2011-12 & 2015-16. In contrast, the area sown more than once (ASMO) was increasing consistently since 2004-05.

Nearly 83 percentage of Odisha‟s population live in the rural areas and depend mostly on agriculture as their livelihood. One of the major concerns of the State has been to accelerate the all-round development of scheduled tribes and scheduled castes. For historical reasons, this segment of the society has remained socially and economically backward. Therefore, concerted efforts have been made under different Plans to bring them into the mainstream of development. The state Government is committed to the development of these communities. Accordingly, various special programmes and welfare measures have been launched for their benefit, which include legal aid, rehabilitation of marginalized STs and SCs, housing facilities, establishment of special employment exchanges, reservation in employment, etc.

 (Source: Odisha Economic Survey-2016-17)

Like us!
Follow us!
Subscribe us!