Formed in 2000 out of Northern Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand is largely a hilly State, surrounded by China in the north, Himachal Pradesh in the northwest, Nepal in the east and Uttar Pradesh on the south. The state is rich in natural resources, especially water, biodiversity and forests, which shapes its economy.
In recent years, Uttarakhand's growth rate has been higher than the Indian average (12% per year against 8 during 2005-2013). The last census (2011) revealed migration from all hilly districts, reflecting a lack of livelihood opportunities as well as lack of modern infrastructure. Many settlements are exposed to severe land erosion and land slide risks.
About half the workforce lives on agriculture. The important staple crops include rice, wheat and finger millet (called manduwa locally) and sugarcane. Farmers practice rotation with pulses (black gram, lentil, horse gram) and oilseeds (in particular mustard and rapeseed). Fruit production also takes place in the state. Indigenous cattle, buffalo, goat, poultry, and fisheries are the main husbandries, as well as sericulture.