Mizoram

27 August 2015
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Mizoram (English pronunciation: Listeni/mɪˈzɔərəm/) is one of the states of Northeast India, with Aizawl as its capital. The name is derived from Mi (people), Zo (Belonging to the people of Mizoram/Lushai Hills) and Ram (land), and thus Mizoram implies "land of the hill people".[4]

In the northeast, it is the southern most landlocked state sharing borders with three of the seven sister states, namely Tripura, Assam, Manipur. The state also shares a 722 kilometer border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.[5]

Like several other northeastern states of India, Mizoram was previously part of Assam until 1972, when it was carved out as a Union Territory. It became the 23rd state of India, a step above Union Territory, on 20 February 1987.[6]

Mizoram's population was 1,091,014, according to 2011 census. It is the 2nd least populous state in the country.[7] Mizoram covers an area of approximately 21,087 square kilometer.[8] About 91% of the state is forested.[9]

About 95% of current Mizoram population is of diverse tribal origins who settled in the state, mostly from southeast Asia, over waves of migration starting about 16th century but mainly in 18th century.[10] This is the highest concentration of tribal people among all states of India, and they are currently protected under Indian constitution as Scheduled Tribe.[11] The tribes converted from Animist religions to Christianity over the first half of 20th century. Mizoram is one of three states of India with a Christian majority (87%).[12] Its people belong to various denominations, mostly Presbyterian in its north and Baptists in south.

Mizoram is a highly literate agrarian economy, but suffers from slash-and-burn jhum or shifting cultivation, and poor crop yields.[13] In recent years, the jhum farming practices are steadily being replaced with a significant horticulture and bamboo products industry.[14][15] The state's gross state domestic product for 2012 was estimated at ₹6991 crore (US$1.1 billion).[8] About 20% of Mizoram's population lives below poverty line, with 35% rural poverty.[16] The state has about 871 kilometers of national highways, with NH-54 and NH-150 connecting it to Assam and Manipur respectively. It is also a growing transit point for trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh.[17]

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