Goa is a state on the southwestern coast of India within the region known as the Konkan, and geographically separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats. It is surrounded by the Indian states of Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast. It is India's smallest state by area and its fourth-smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times as high as the GDP per capita of the country as a whole. The Eleventh Finance Commission of India named Goa the best-placed state because of its infrastructure, and India’s National Commission on Population rated it as having the best quality of life in India (based on the commission’s “12 Indicators”). It is the third-highest ranking among Indian states in human development index.
Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is its largest city. The historic city of Margão in Goa still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first voyaged to the subcontinent in the early 16th century as merchants, and conquered it soon thereafter, whereupon Goa became an overseas territory of the Portuguese Empire, part of what was then known as Portuguese India, and remained as such for about 450 years, until it was annexed by India in 1961. Goa’s official language, which is spoken by a majority of its inhabitants, is Konkani.
The Goa, Daman and Diu Official Language Act, 1987 makes Konkani in the Devanagari script the sole official language of Goa, but provides that Marathi may also be used for all or any of the official purposes. Portuguese was the sole official language during Portuguese colonial rule. The government also has a policy of replying in Marathi to correspondence received in Marathi. There have been demands for according Konkani in the Roman script official status in the state. There is widespread support for keeping Konkani as the sole official language of Goa. The entire liturgy and communication of the Catholic church in Goa is done solely in Konkani in the Roman script.
Konkani is spoken as a native language by about 66.11% of the people in the state, but almost all Goans can speak and understand Konkani. Other linguistic groups in the state per the 2011 census are speakers of Marathi (10.89%), Hindi (10.29%), Kannada (5.66%), Urdu (2.83%) and Portuguese language (1%).
According to the 2011 census, in a population of 1,458,545 people, 66.1% were Hindu, 25.1% were Christian, 8.3% were Muslim and 0.1% were Sikh.
According to the 1909 statistics in the Catholic Encyclopedia, the total Catholic population was 293,628 out of a total population 365,291 (80.33%).