Tamil Nadu: Brief Profile

Geographic profile of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is situated on the South-Eastern side of the Indian peninsula with the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Indian Ocean in the south, and bounded by the States of Kerala and Karnataka in the west, and in the North by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Demographic profile of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has population density of 479 per sq. km. (as against the national average of 312). The decadal growth rate of population of Tamil Nadu is 11.7% (against 21.5% for the country).

Of Tamil Nadu’s total population of 62.41 million, 56% reside in the rural areas. The Sex Ratio for the State is 987 (as compared to the all-India average of 933). The Sex Ratio for the Rural Tamil Nadu is 992 while that for Urban Tamil Nadu is 982. The Child Sex Ratio for the State stands at 942 which again is considerably higher than all-India average of 927. The proportion of Scheduled Caste (SC) population in Tamil Nadu is 19% and that of Scheduled Tribe (ST) population is 1%. The Sex Ratio for SCs stands at 999 while that for STs is 980.

The overall literacy rate for the State of Tamil Nadu is 74%. The male literacy rate is 82% which is significantly higher than the female literacy rate (i.e., 64%).

Table 1: Demographic Indicators of Tamil Nadu

Item Value
Proportion of Rural Population (%) 56
Proportion of SC (%) 19
Proportion of ST (%) 1
Sex Ratio 987
Child Sex Ratio 942
Sex Ratio (SC) 999
Sex Ratio (ST) 980
Literacy Rate (%) 74
Literacy Rate – Male (%) 82
Literacy Rate – Female (%) 64

Health profile of Tamil Nadu

The figures for major health indicators for Tamil Nadu are significantly better than the all-India figures. The Total Fertility Rate of the State (according to SRS 2008) is 1.7 which is considerably lower than the National average of 2.6. The Infant Mortality Rate is 31 (according to SRS 2008) which is lower than the National average of 53. The Maternal Mortality Ratio is 111 (according to SRS 2004-2006) which is also lower than the National average of 254. Crude Birth Rate for the State (i.e., 16.0) is lower than the corresponding National average figure of 22.8. Crude Death Rate for the State (i.e., 7.4) is same as that of the National average figure.

Table 2: Health Indicators of Tamil Nadu

Item Value
Total Fertility Rate (SRS 2008) 1.7
Infant Mortality Rate (SRS 2008) 31.0
Maternal Mortality Ratio (SRS 2004-2006) 111
Crude Birth Rate (SRS 2008) 16.0
Crude Death Rate (SRS 2008) 7.4

Economic profile of Tamil Nadu

The proportion of BPL persons in Tamil Nadu stands at 22.5% as compared to the all-India proportion of 27.5% (according to the estimates of 2004-05). The proportion for Rural Tamil Nadu stands at 22.8% which is slightly higher than the corresponding figure for Urban Tamil Nadu (i.e., 22.2%).

The Work Participation Rate for Tamil Nadu stands at 45%. The proportion of Non-Workers stands at 55%. Among the workers, the vast majority belongs to the category of Other Workers (45%) followed by Agricultural Labourers (31%).

Table 3: Economic Indicators of Tamil Nadu

Item Value
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Overall 22.5
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Rural 22.8
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Urban 22.2
Work Participation Rate (%) 45
% of Non-Workers 55
Proportion of Cultivators (%) 18
Proportion of Agricultural Labourers (%) 31
Proportion of Household Industry Workers (%) 5
Proportion of Other Workers (%) 45

Rural Local Governance in Tamil Nadu

Table 4 below gives the number of Panchayats and reserved category-wise proportion of elected representatives at all levels and at Gram (Village) level. The proportion of SC candidates is more than 20% at the overall as well as the Gram Panchayat level. The proportion of women is just above 33.3% reservation as mandated by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act.

All the figures are as of 31st March 2008 and are therefore latest for Tamil Nadu where the last Panchayat elections took place in October 2006. The next Panchayat elections in Tamil Nadu are scheduled to be held in October 2011.

Table 4: No. of Panchayats and Elected Representatives in Tamil Nadu

Panchayats No. of Panchayats Proportion of Elected Representatives

(in %)

SC ST Women
At all levels 13,031 20.31 0.75 33.79
At Village level 12,618 20.27 0.80 33.70

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