At the time of Tripura's merger with the Indian union in October 15, 1949, the major mode of farming by the tribals in mountainous areas was shifting cultivation, locally called ‘Jhum' cultivation (slash and burn method of farming), which produced little surplus food grain. Some areas of the plain lands of the state were under settled agriculture undertaken by Bengalis, and the main crop was rice. Most of the plain lands of the state were not under cultivation and were covered with cane-brakes and marshes. Thus at the time of formation of the state, the economy was predominantly agricultural and forest-based, with no industrial base, a low level of urbanisation and limited infrastructure.
For administrative convenience and decentralisation of power Tripura which had once been a single district only is now divided into altogether eight districts, twenty three subdivisions and forty five rural development blocks. Besides, a special feature of the state is the vibrant existence of an Autonomous District Council (ADC) for tribals based on 6th schedule of the Indian constitution. The ADC in Tripura encompasses 68.10 percent of the state's total geographical territory and is home to roughly one third of the state's population of 37 lakh.
Tripura is the second smallest state in terms of area, but the second most populous state in the North Eastern Region. Although the state is small with a population of only over 3.7 million, the social composition of the population of Tripura is diverse. In particular, around one-third of the population comprises people belonging to the scheduled tribes.
According to the 2011 census, the state’s population stood at 36.74 lakh, with a density of 350 persons per sq. km.
Population pattern and demography have always been sensitive issues in Tripura over the past century which saw an actual decline in indigenous tribal population in terms of percentage because of resettlement of non-tribals in the state, particularly in the aftermath of the partition of the country in 1947. In 1901 Tripura's population was 1.73 lakh, with tribals making up nearly 52.89 per cent of the whole. By 1941, the total population rose to 5.13 lakh with a barely 50.09 per cent tribal majority. But by 1981, the tribal population dipped to 28.44 per cent of a total population of 2.05 million. Evidently, the tribal people were reduced from over a half to barely more than a quarter of the state's population in a century. The demographic changes, the economic pressures created by the sudden influx of people and the spread of education through missionary influence among the Mizos, Kukis and other tribes, have generated new impulses and a mix of expectations and aspirations. A feature of note is that around 97.4 per cent of the tribal population is rural. Human development among tribal people is thus very closely tied to the evolution of the rural economy.
The range of hills rises from the plains of Bangladesh at the north and proceeds southwards until they join the hills of the Chittagong hill tracts in southeast Bangladesh. The elevation of hills gradually increases in the east. The eastern range of the Jampui is situated at an elevation of 914 meters above MSL and the western range of the Baramura, Deotamura with its elevation of 244 meters above MSL is the lowest.
|Population by religious communities|
|S No.||State / UT||Religious Communities||Persons||Males||Females|
|257||Tripura||All Religious Communities||3,199,203||1,642,225||1,556,978|
|264||Tripura||Other Religious Communities||1,277||726||551|
A full-fledged state of northeast India, Tripura was formerly a princely state that had a long list of tribal kings stretching back into antiquity. According to versions presented in different editions of 'Rajmala', princely Tripura's court chronicle , altogether 184 or 179 kings of the Manikya dynasty had ruled the state . Scholars on Tripura's history, however, attribute all the pre-fifteenth century kings to the realm of mythology though continued sway of the Manikya dynasty has been attested since the year 1432.
The partition of India in 1947 and political upheavals that had preceded and followed the momentous development had brought an end to princely rule of Manikya dynasty in Tripura. After India became independent, Tripura acceded to the Indian Union on 15 October, 1949 as a "C" category state and became a Union Territory in November 1956. A popularly elected ministry was formed in Tripura in July 1963 and since then, the State has had governments elected on the basis of universal adult franchise. Tripura attained full statehood on January 21, 1972 alogn with Manipur and Meghalaya. Tripura is also rich in its composite cultural heritage embodied in archaeological remains , architecture and sculpture.