Goa is divided into two districts, 11 talukas, 189 Village Panchayats and 14 Municipalities. Sixty percent of its population of 12 lakhs is concentrated in coastal talukas, with the hilly region having a low density of population. As per the Census 2002 records, male (88.88%) and female (75.51%) literacy rate of the state is high compared to the national average of male (75.9%) and female (54.2%) respectively.
Topographically, Goa can be divided into three distinct sub-regions, namely the coastal plains, the intermediate or transitional sub mountainous region with undulating uplands and the interior hilly regions consisting of Western Ghat.
The coastal plain comprises the talukas of Bardez, Tiswadi, Mormugao and Salcete, which cover about 22% of the total geographical area. The intermediate or transitional sub mountainous region comprising the talukas of Pernem, Bicholim, Ponda and Quepem, with undulating uplands, covers about 35% of the area, whereas the interior hilly region of Sattari, Sanguem and Canacona talukas (vary from 300-800 m in height) make up the remaining 43% of the area. The Goa region is drained by nine major rivers, namely, Terekhol, Chapora, Baga, Mandovi, Zuari, Sal, Saleri, Galjibag and Talpona, which flow from the Western Ghat (East) to the Arabian Sea (West). The coastline runs to about 105 km from the North to South and the maximum width of the state is about 65 km from the East to West.
The soils are predominantly of lateritic nature, which manifests the underlying geology of the area. The coastal tracts are, however, alluvial flats. The climate is pleasant and warm almost throughout the year and there are no remarkable changes in temperature. The rainy monsoon season runs from the month of June to September with an average annual rainfall of over 3000 mm. Agriculture is the predominant occupation of the people of the state followed by mining, fisheries and tourism.
Goa is famous as an international and national tourist destination center due to its rich natural and cultural heritage consisting of historical monuments, temples, churches, unique blend of cultural and pristine green cover of forest and agricultural patches. The state attracts a large number of domestic as well as foreign tourists who enjoy both the pristine natural environment and, traditional hospitability of the local population as well as the festivals spread through the year such as Shigmo, Carnival, feasts, jatras, etc.
The State is rich in mineral deposits such as iron ore, manganese ore and bauxite. The open-cast mining operations in the state are mainly export-oriented. Ore is transported for short distances by dumpers (trucks) to the major river and from where loaded into barges for onward transportation to the harbour/port. Due to the open-cast method adopted for the extraction of these minerals, large reject dumps are generated, which are prone to erosion during the heavy monsoon showers. The eroded material alongwith the turbid waters from beneficiation plants and mining pits are responsible for siltation / inundation and pollution of water bodies as also agricultural lands. Besides, mining involves removal of the green cover resulting in deforestation.
The post-liberation era in the state of Goa has witnessed a tremendous boom in the industrial sector. This has resulted in the establishment of fifteen industrial estates across the state, which is primarily located on plateau top areas. However, these industries are dependent on the power supply originating from the neighboring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra and allotted to Goa in the National Grid. Recently the M/s Reliance Salgaocar Co. has established, a private power-generating unit, which caters to some of the power demand. Agriculture, industry, trade, commerce, and tourism provide avenues of employment to a majority of the local population. In the occupational structure, agriculture, with about 40% of total workers, occupies the first position. Services with 34% and manufacturing with 23% are the other equally significant sources of employment.
Goa has a good network for transport and communications. It is served by railways, roadways, inland waterways and airways. It has a natural harbor located at Marmugoa. The rivers of Mandovi and Zuari provide inland waterways and are extensively used to transport, minerals ores from the mines to the Port .Of late, the entire old South Central Railway network has been converted into a broad gauge and the Konkan Railway route has become operational.