Geography of Uttar Pradesh

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

The content and the information shared is relevant for the UPPSC PCS 20202 Preliminary Exam. 

The nature of administration, to a great extent, depends on the quality of the State. To administer a region, it is essential to know about its geographical area, physical features such as climate as it influences human settlement. Undoubtedly, geography has played an indispensable role in the evolution of people, their ideas, places and environments. Uttar Pradesh has been home to powerful empires of ancient and medieval India.

Geography of Uttar Pradesh 

Before knowing about the present geographical set-up of Uttar Pradesh, let us have a brief discussion about the inhabitations in the geographic region of the State since time immemorial.

In 2018, the studies carried out by the Archaeology Unit of Banaras Hindu University revealed the presence of techno-cultural stages form the Stone Age of Paleolithithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic era. In this regard, more than 300 sites have been brought to light through explorations, and 25 major excavations have been conducted. 

Some of the prominent excavated sites by the department are- 

  1. Rajghat and Sarai Mohana in Varanasi.
  2. Dhuriapar in Gorakhpur
  3. Banmilla, Bahera, Lahariadih, Patita and Chhilahina in Mirzapur
  4. Prahladpur, Takiapar in Chandauli
  5. Khairadih in Ballia
  6. Ayodhya in Faizabad
  7. Kampil in Farrukhabad
  8. Paisa in Monghyr 

Physiographically, Uttar Pradesh includes five distinct tracts of the country-

  1. Himalayan region 
  2. the sub-Himalayan tracts
  3. the great Gangetic plains and 
  4. the hill systems of Central India
  5. the Gangetic plains

Of the physiographic regions, more than half of the area of this State is included in the great Gangetic plain. Stone tools have been excavated from south Uttar Pradesh such as Belan Valley, Singrauli basin in Mirjapur was excavated from time to time. The Belan Valley is a part of Kaimur sandstone formations. Therefore, habitation has been occurring in this region from pre-historic times. 

The current geographical form of Uttar Pradesh came in existence on 9 November 2000. The State’s hilly region comprising thirteen districts, which were part of Uttar Pradesh were carved to form Uttarakhand. 

Highlights of Uttar Pradesh

  • Located in North India, Uttar Pradesh is the fourth largest Indian State by area.
  • During British rule, it was created as United Provinces of Agra and Oudh on 1 April 1937.
  • Post-independence, it was renamed as Uttar Pradesh in the year 1950. 
  • The State is divided into eighteen divisions and seventy-five districts.
  • The capital of Uttar Pradesh is Lucknow.
  • Ganga and Yamuna are the two major rivers of the State. The Yamuna joins Ganga at Prayagraj and then further flows eastwards.
  • Bordering Country (1): Nepal shares its boundary and is in the north and slightly in the east of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Bordering States (9): Rajasthan borders the State to the west, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi to the northwest, and Uttarakhand in the North, Bihar to the east, Madhya Pradesh to the south, and touches the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to the southeast. 
  • The latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of Uttar Pradesh are 26.8467° N, 80.9462° E

Demographics of the State (as per 2011 census):

  • Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India with 199,581,477 people on 1 March 2011 (with higher present count), i.e. 16.16% of India’s population. 
  • The State has a high population growth rate, i.e. from 1991 to 2001, its population increased by over 26%.
  • The decennial growth rate (including Uttrakhand) was 20.09%, higher than the national rate of 17.64%.
  • Estimates reveal that the State also has a large number of people living below the poverty line. 
  • With 19.96 crores according to Census, 2011 out of which 15.51 crore live in rural areas and 4.45 crore in urban areas.
  • There has been a net addition of about 1.09 crore persons in the urban areas between 2001-2011.
  • Population by religious distribution is as follows:
  • Hindus 79.73%,
  • Muslims 19.26%,
  • Sikhs 0.32%,
  • Christians 0.18%,
  • Jains 0.11%,
  • Buddhists 0.10%,
  • Others 0.30%
  • Sex ratio: The sex ratio is the ratio of males to females in a population. 912 women to 1000 men, was lower than the national figure of 943.
  • Literacy rate: Total number of literate persons in a given age group, expressed as a percentage of the total population in that age group.
  • The literacy rate of the State is 67.7%, which below the national average of 74%.
  • The literacy rate for men is 79%, and for women 59%. In 2001 the literacy rate in Uttar Pradesh stood at 56.27% overall, 67% for men and 43% for women.

Languages of Uttar Pradesh

  • Hindi is the official language of the State. It is also the most widely spoken language along with Urdu.
  • Urdu is given the status of a second official language, spoken by 5.42% of the population.
  • Many dialects are spoken region-wise such as 
  • Awadhi in Awadh region of eastern Uttar Pradesh, 
  • Bhojpuri is spoken in the Bhojpuri region of eastern Uttar Pradesh
  • Braj Bhasha is spoken in the Braj region in western Uttar Pradesh.
  • Other notable languages spoken in the State include Punjabi (0.25%) and Bengali (0.12%).

Livelihood of the people of Uttar Pradesh

  • Largely, people of Uttar Pradesh have their living dependence on Agriculture. Also, service industries contribute to the most substantial parts of the State’s economy.
  • The service sector comprises travel and tourism, hotel industry, real industry, real estate, insurance and financial consultancies. 
  • The economy of Uttar Pradesh is the fifth largest economy in India.
  • The State has several historical, natural, and religious tourist destinations, such as Agra, Ayodhya, Vrindavan, Lucknow, Mathura, Varanasi, Allahabad and Gorakhpur. 

Que. According to the 2011 census, which of the following states has the largest rural population?

  1. Madhya Pradesh
  2. Maharashtra
  3. Punjab
  4. Uttar Pradesh

To attempt more such questions- Click here

Stay Tuned for more updates.

More from Us:


Previous Year Solved Papers

Monthly Current Affairs

UPSC Study Material

Daily Practice Quizzes, Attempt Here

Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium