Kerala is a state in India on the Malabar coast in the southwest region of the country. Kerala is bordered by Tamil Nadu to the south and east, Karnataka to the north and northeast, and the Lakshadweep Sea to the west.
Kerala has an estimated population of 35 million, up from 33.38 million in 2011. It is the 13th most populous state in India with an overall population density of 2,200 people per square mile or 860 per square kilometer. Kerala is home to almost 3% of India's population, and its land is three times more densely settled than the rest of the country.
The coastal regions are more populated than the mountains and eastern hills of the state with 2.5 times the overall population density.
The capital of Kerala is Thiruvananthapuram, which was called the "Evergreen city of India" by Mahatma Gandhi. The city has a population of 755,000 in the city proper but a population of 1.68 million in the urban agglomeration. This makes it the most populous city corporation and the fifth largest urban agglomeration in the state.
Other major cities in Kerala:
About 32 million Keralites are Malayali. 1.1% of the population (321,000) are indigenous tribal Adivasis and concentrated in the eastern part of the state. In 2013, there were nearly 2.5 million migrant workers from other states in Kerala or 7.5% of the state's population.
Kerala has three main religions: Hinduism (56%), Islam (25%) and Christianity (19%). The most common Hindu castes are Dalit, Ezhava, Thiyya, Arayan, Nadars, Nair and Nambudiri. The most common Muslim organizations are Sunni, Mujahid, and Jama'at-e-Islami. There was a large Jewish population in the region until the 1900s, when most moved to Israel.
Kerala has a Human Development Index of 0.79, which is "very high" and the highest in India. Kerala also has the highest literacy rates among all Indian states at 98.9% and a life expectancy of 74 years which is among the highest in the country. Kerala has experienced a rapidly dropping rural poverty rate, which fell from 59% in the mid-1970s to 12% by 2010, while the overall poverty rate fell 47% between the 1970s and 2000s, compared to a drop of just 29% in total poverty in the country.
Kerala has one of the lowest fertility rates in India, which has caused a demographics shift as seen in many developed countries with 12% of its population over the age of 60. Kerala is also considered the healthiest and cleanest state in India.
While Kerala has what appears to be rapid growth by the standards of most areas, its 4.9% decadal growth in 2011 was the lowest in India and less than one-third of the India average of 17.64%. Between 1951 and 1991, Kerala's population more than doubled from 15.6 million to 29.1 million, reaching 33.3 million by 2011.
Kerala is currently heading for zero growth in its population, as the state has a meager fertility rate and a stabilizing death rate. The zero growth rate is expected to happen within 25 years. In 2021, census figures predict Kerala will record negative population growth, which will be a first in India.