Gujarat is a state in western India known as the Jewel of the West. Maharashtra borders Gujarat to the south, Rajasthan to the north, Madhya Pradesh to the east and the Arabian Sea and the Sindh province of Pakistan to the west.
Gujarat has an estimated population of 63.8 million, up from 60.4 million in 2011. This makes Gujarat the 6th largest state in India by area and the 9th largest by population with an overall density of 310 people per square kilometer (800/square mile). This population density is one of the lowest in India.
Cities in Gujarat
Gujarat is divided into three regions: Gujarat, Saurashtra, and Kutch. Gujarat contains three of the largest cities in the state: Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara. Interestingly, Saurashtra was never incorporated into British India and it survived over 200 princely states until independence.
The capital of Gujarat is Gandhinagar, which is 23 kilometers north of the largest city, Ahmedabad. Gandhinagar has a population of 200,000, as of 2001. Gandhinagar was named for Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in Gujarat.
The largest city is Ahmedabad, which is also the former capital of the state. Ahmedabad has a population of more than 5.8 million with a metropolitan population of 6.3 million, which makes it the 5th largest city and 7th largest metro area in India. Ahmedabad was ranked as one of the fastest-growing cities of the decade. Ahmedabad has a population density of 31,000 people per square mile or 12,000 per square kilometer.
Surat is the second most populous city in the state with an estimated population of 4.8 million. Also known as the "City of Flowers," Surat is about 306 kilometers south of the capital on the Tapti River. Surat is the 8th largest city and 9th largest metropolitan area in the country.
Vadodara, or Baroda, is the 3rd largest city in Gujarat after Ahmedabad and Surat. In 2014, Vadodara had a population of 2.06 million, which is the 20th largest in India. Vadodara has a population density of 36,000 people per square mile or 14,000 per square kilometer.
Gujarat has a skewed sex ratio, with 918 girls for every 1000 boys. This is one of the lowest rates among the 28 states of India.
Gujarati people form the majority of the population. The Gujaratis are an Indian ethnic group that speaks Gujarati, with famous Gujaratis including Mahatma Gandhi and Virchand Gandhi. Interestingly, most Gujarati outside of India live in the United States, with more than 100,000 in the New York City area.
Biharis (an Indo-Aryan ethnic group from the current state of Bihar) and Marwaris (originally from the Rajasthan region of the country) are significant minorities in the state, with smaller groups include Punjabis, Malayalees, Tibetans, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, Anglo-Indians, Tamils, South Koreans, Portuguese, Nepalese and Bengali.
Gujarat is diverse in terms of religion. 89% of the population are Hindu, followed by Islam (9%), Jainism (1%), Christianity (0.5%), Sikhism (0.2%) and Buddhism (0.1%).
Gujarat Population Growth
Gujarat has experienced healthy growth for the last six decades, growing from 16.2 million in 1951 to 60.3 million in 2011. In fact, since that time, the population has increased by at least 19% every decade. Gujarat is also growing faster than the Indian average of 17.6%, raising more than 19% in the last decade.
- Ahmedabad ranked as the best place to live in India by The Times of India in 2012.
- Mahatma Gandhi was born in Gujarat.
- Gujarat has the most extended seashore of any Indian state.
- Gujarat is home to the highest number of vegetarians in the country.
- Gujarat has the lowest crime rate in India and the lowest crime rate against women.
- One in 5 Indian Americans is a Gujarati, compared to 1 in 20 Indians.