The district is bounded on the north by the Ranchi district of Jharkhand, on the west and north-west by Raigarh district of Chhatisgarh, on the south and south-east by Jharsuguda and Debagarh districts and on the east by the Singhbhum district of Jharkhand and Kendujhar district. The district does not form a compact geographical unit and is extremely irregular in shape. According to the Surveyor General of India, the area of the district is 9712 sq. kms.The geographical area of the district ranks second position in the state and also ranks 77th position among the districts of India. As regards the population, the district occupies sixth position in
the state. The density of population of the district ranks 18th and 444th position among the districts of the state and in the country respectively.
The district of Sundargarh is constituted by thirteen towns including five census towns and 1764 villages spread over 17 C.D blocks. It has 18 lakhs population of which male constitutes 51.11 percent and females 48.89 percent. The population growth rate during the last decade of the twentieth century is 16.26 annually.The area of the district is 9712 sq.km and thus, population density works out to be 188. Sex ratio (females per 1000 males) works out to be 957 considering the total population of each sex and that for population of 0-6 years it is 969 indicating relatively lower deficit of females at younger ages. The percentage of population in age group 0-4 years is 9.66 percent and that of age group 5-14 years is 23.72 percent. The population in the working age group of 15-59 is 59.67 percent and old age group and age not stated group together constitute 6.94 percent. The age group wise distribution provides an idea of dependency burden and helps in planning of welfare services and business products. The district has 34.37 percent population enumerated in areas classified as urban. The major towns are Rourkela (M), Rourkela Industrial Township (ITS) and Rajagangapur (M) having 224,987, 206,693 and about 43,594 in respective order.
The major religions in the district are Hindu (78.21 percent), Muslim (3.38 percent) and Christian (16.85 percent) indicating although
Hindu predominance is there Christians are a major discernible group. The Scheduled Caste population of the district constitute 8.62 percent and among them the major caste groups are Ganda(21.57 percent), Pan Pano (17.57percent) and Dhoba etc. (7.69 percent). The Scheduled tribes account for 50.19 percent population of the district and Oran (27.05 percent) Munda etc. (21.16 percent) and Kisan (14.56 percent) are the largest tribal groups in the district.
The district has 10.15 lakh literates of which 6.03 lakhs are males and 4.11 lakhs are females. The total literacy rate works out to be 64.86 percent, the male literacy rate being 75.34 percent and female rate 53.88 indicates substantial gender gap in literacy. Statistics on population reporting attainment of different educational levels reveal some interesting facets. Population with Graduate degree and above constitute 7.35 percent and those indicating no educational level are only 1.34 percent. The group reporting Matriculation/Secondary/Diploma as their level of education are 25.20 percent. Below primary group are 24.32 percent and those having primary and middle education are 26.28 and 15.51 percent respectively. Total population classified as workers in the district 5.93 lakhs which accounts for a work participation rate of 40.36 percent. Of the workers 64.90 percent are main workers and 35.10 percent are marginal workers.The total population of the district belong to about 3 lakh households in the rural and urban areas of the district .Thus the average household size is 5 per household. Of the household 39.1 percent are occupying permanent houses, 54.6 percent semi-permanent houses & 6.2 % temporary houses. The rural household are spread over 1723 inhabited villages. Drinking water is available in 100 percent of the villages and of this safe drinking water in 99.77 percent. Electric power supply is available in 70.81 percent of villages. 42.54 percent have it for domestic purposes and only 7.66 percent villages have it for agricultural use. Of the total villages 83.34 percent have primary schools, 30.35 percent middle schools and 15.67 have secondary/senior secondary schools. Only 1.33 percent villages have colleges and 20.02 percent have medical facility. Post, Telegraph and Telephone facilities are available in 27.34 percent of villages. Bus services are available in 28.67 percent of villages. Paved approach road is existing in 37.09 percent of villages and 91.93 percent villages have mud approach roads.
The district of Sundargarh remains undivided even after new districts were formed in 1993. It has abundant natural resources and developed as prominent industrial base. It has substantial population which are backward as indicated by S.C & S.T. Percentage. Sex imbalance is an area of concern. The work participation rate needs improvement keeping in view the interrelationship industrialisation process and backward population. The district may provide an interesting case study for population and environment and development having sustained industrialisation for quite some time.
Sundargarh District Highlights
- Sundargarh is the 2nd biggest district in terms of size and 6th biggest in terms of population.
- Sundargarh is the 3rd urbanized district in the state having about 34.37 per cent of itspopulation living in urban areas whereas about 14.99 per cent of state’s population live in urban areas
- In terms of population per sq. km. Sundargarh is 18th densely populated district in the state.
- Sundargarh has 24th rank in terms of sex ratio in the state.
- There are only 41 uninhabited villages in the district whereas 6 villages are having a population of more than 5000.
- Kuanrmunda in Biramitrapur is the most populated village (6,417) in the district.
- ÿ The economy of the district is mainly dependent upon cultivation. Out of each 100 workers in the district 59 are engaged in agricultural sector.
- Lahunipada police station is having the highest number of villages (160) in the district and
- Raghunathpali police station is having the lowest number of villages (1) in the district.