Meghalaya (abode of the clouds), also known as the 'Scotland of the East' for its scenic magnificence, was inaugurated as an autonomous state on April 2, 1970 and was declared a state of the Indian Union on Jan 21, 1972. Situated between 89.460 to 94.360 East Longitude and 25.050 to 26.410 North latitude, Meghalaya is surrounded by Assam on the north and the east and by Bangladesh on the south and the west. Spread over a geographical area of 22,429 sq km, Meghalaya comprises 0.68 per cent of the country's total landmass and 8.55 per cent of that of the North East.
Meghalaya is home to two main tribal formations: Hynniewtreps and the Achiks. The Khasi, Jaintia, Bhoi, War tribes belonging to the Proto Austroloid Monkhmer race are collectively known as the Hynniewtrep people who predominantly inhabit the districts of East Meghalaya, The Garo Hills is predominantly inhabited by the Garos, belonging to the Bodo family of the Tibeto-Burman race who are said to have migrated from Tibet. The Garos prefer to call themselves as Achiks.
The state of Meghalaya is sparsely populated due to its rugged terrains and inhospitable environment. According to the census report of 2001, Meghalaya has a total population of 2,306,069 constituting 0.22 percent population of India and 5.91 per cent of North East. It has a density of 103 persons per sq km and ranks 24th in India in terms of population density. According to the Census of 1991, nearly 65 per cent of the population practised Christianity.
Agriculture is one of the basic means of subsistence in this tribal state. About 65.89 percent of the total working population are cultivators and agricultural labourers. The gross state domestic product or the per capita income at current prices has been calculated at Rs. 14, 726 for the year 2000-2001. Meghalaya ranks 24th in the human resource development index and 28th in the poverty index in India. The literacy rate of Meghalaya is 63.61 per cent, which is lower than the national literacy rate of 65.20 per cent.
Meghalaya is rich in natural resources. However, the growth of industries in the State is still in the rudimentary stage.





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