State Profile

Himachal Pradesh is situated in the Western Himalayas latitude 30o 22' 40" N to 33o 12' 40" N and longitude 75o 45' 55" E to 79o 04' 20" E covering an area of 55,673 kilometres Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous state with elevation ranging from about 350 metres (1,148 ft) to 6,000 metres (19,685 ft) above the sea level. The drainage system of Himachal is composed both of rivers and glaciers. Himalayan rivers criss-cross the entire mountain chain. In fact the rivers are older than the mountain system. Himachal Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins The drainage systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of natural vegetation.

There is great variation in the climatic conditions of Himachal due to extreme variation in elevation. The climate varies from hot and sub-humid tropical in the southern tracts to cold, alpine and glacial in the northern and eastern mountain ranges with more elevation. The state has areas like Dharamsala that receive very heavy rainfall, as well as those like Lahaul and Spiti that are cold and almost rainless. Broadly Himachal experience three seasons; hot weather season, cold weather season and rainy season. Summer lasts from mid April till the end of June and most parts become very hot (except in alpine zone which experience mild summer) with the average temperature ranging from 28 °C (82 °F) to 32 °C (90 °F). Winter lasts from late November till mid March. Snowfall is common in alpine tracts (generally above 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) i.e. in the Higher and Trans-Himalayan region).

Agriculture contributes over 45% to the net state domestic product. It is the main source of income and employment in Himachal. Over 93% of the population in Himachal depend directly upon agriculture which provides direct employment to 71% of its people. The main cereals grown are wheat, maize, rice and barley. Himachal is extremely rich in hydro electric resources. The state has about 25% of the national potential in this respect. It has been estimated that about 20,300MW of hydro electric power can be generated in the State by constructing various major, medium, small and mini/micro hydel projects on the five river basins. The state is also the first state in India to achieve the goal of having a bank account for every family. As per the current prices, the total GDP was estimated at 25,435 crore (254,350,000,000), as against 23,024 crore ( 230,240,000,000) in the year 2004–05, showing an increase of 10.5%. The gross domestic product of the State at current prices is `254,350 million (year 2007). Per Capita Income in 2000-01 was `10942.

The population of Himachal in 2001 stood at 6,077,900 as per the provisional results of the Census of India 2001. Of which the urban population is 594881 persons and rural population is 5482367 persons. The population of Himachal Pradesh includes estimated population of entire Kinnaur district, where the population enumeration of Census of India, 2001 could not be conducted due to natural calamity. In terms of population it holds the same position (twenty first) among States and Union territories as at the previous census. The population of the State rose by 17.53% between 1991–2001. The sex ratio (i.e., the number of females per thousand males) of population was recorded as 970, which has declined from 976 in the previous census. Total literacy of the State rose to 77.13% from 63.94% in 1991. Himachal Pradesh has a Total Fertility Rate of 1.9, one of the lowest in India, and below the TFR, of 2.1, required to maintain a stable population. Population density (per Sq. Km.) [2001] of the State was 109.



Himachal Pradesh at a Glance