Maharashtra: Brief Profile

Geographic profile of Maharashtra

Maharashtra is the third largest state in India both in terms of area as well as population. The State is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the West, Gujarat in the North-West, Madhya Pradesh in the North and the East, Andhra Pradesh in the South-East, and Karnataka and Goa in the South.

Demographic profile of Maharashtra

Maharashtra has population density of 314 per sq. km. (as against the National average of 312). The decadal growth rate of population of Maharashtra is 22.7% (against 21.5% for the country).

Of Maharashtra’s total population of 96.88 million, 58% reside in the rural areas. The Sex Ratio for the State is 922 which is lower than the all-India average of 933. The Sex Ratio for Rural Maharashtra is 960. This is significantly higher than the corresponding figure for Urban Maharashtra (i.e., 873). The Child Sex Ratio for the State stands at 913 which again is considerably lower than the all-India average of 927.

The proportion of Scheduled Caste (SC) population in Maharashtra is 10% and that of Scheduled Tribe (ST) population is 9%. The Sex Ratio for SCs stands at 952 while that for STs is 973.

The overall literacy rate for the State of Maharashtra is 77%. The male literacy rate is 86% which is significantly higher than the female literacy rate (i.e., 67%).

Table 1: Demographic Indicators of Maharashtra

Item Value
Proportion of Rural Population (%) 58
Proportion of SC (%) 10
Proportion of ST (%) 9
Sex Ratio 922
Child Sex Ratio 913
Sex Ratio (SC) 952
Sex Ratio (ST) 973
Literacy Rate (%) 77
Literacy Rate – Male (%) 86
Literacy Rate – Female (%) 67

Health profile of Maharashtra

The figures for major health indicators for Maharashtra are significantly better than the all-India figures. The Total Fertility Rate of the State (according to SRS 2008) is 2.0 which is considerably lower than the National average of 2.6. The Infant Mortality Rate is 33 (according to SRS 2008) which is lower than the National average of 53. The Maternal Mortality Ratio is 130 (according to SRS 2004-2006) which is also lower than the National average of 254. Crude Birth Rate (17.9) and Crude Death Rate (6.6) are lower than the corresponding National average figures of 22.8 and 7.4 respectively (according to SRS 2008).

Table 2: Health Indicators of Maharashtra

Item Value
Total Fertility Rate (SRS 2008) 2.0
Infant Mortality Rate (SRS 2008) 33.0
Maternal Mortality Ratio (SRS 2004-2006) 130
Crude Birth Rate (SRS 2008) 17.9
Crude Death Rate (SRS 2008) 6.6

Economic profile of Maharashtra

The proportion of BPL persons in Maharashtra stands at 30.7% as compared to the all-India proportion of 27.5% (according to the estimates of 2004-05). The proportion for Rural Maharashtra stands at 29.6% which is lower than the corresponding figure for Urban Maharashtra (i.e., 32.2%).

The Work Participation Rate for Maharashtra stands at 42%. The proportion of Non-Workers stands at 58%. Among the workers, the vast majority belongs to the category of Other Workers (42%) followed by Cultivators (29%).

Table 3: Economic Indicators of Maharashtra

Item Value
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Overall 30.7
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Rural 29.6
Poverty (% of BPL persons) – Urban 32.2
Work Participation Rate (%) 42.0
% of Non-Workers 58.0
Proportion of Cultivators (%) 29.0
Proportion of Agricultural Labourers (%) 26.0
Proportion of Household Industry Workers (%) 3.0
Proportion of Other Workers (%) 42.0

Rural Local Governance in Maharashtra

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 not latest for Maharashtra.

Table 4: No. of Panchayats and Elected Representatives in Maharashtra

Panchayats No. of Panchayats Proportion of Elected Representatives

(in %)

SC ST Women
At all levels 28,227 11.0 12.0 33.3
At Village level 27,893 11.0 12.0 33.3

Maharashtra is the only State in India where all the Panchayats do not go to polls at one go. Around 20% of the Panchayats go to polls at any given time. Another unique aspect of Panchayats in Maharashtra is ‘Women’s Gram Sabha’. These Gram Sabhas are held prior to the general Gram Sabhas. The issues raised by the Women’s Gram Sabha have to be ratified by the general Gram Sabha.

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