Meghalaya is a state in Northeast India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. The population of Meghalaya as of 2016 is estimated to be 3,211,474. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 square kilometres, with a length-to-breadth ratio of about 3:1.
Tribal people make up the majority of Meghalaya's population. The Khasis are the largest group, followed by the Garos then the Jaintias. These were among those known to the British as hill tribes. Other groups include the Hajongs, the Biates, the Koches and related Rajbongshis, the Boros, Dimasa, Kuki, Lakhar, Tiwa (Lalung), Karbi, Rabha and Nepali.
Meghalaya recorded the highest decennial population growth of 27.82% among all the seven north-eastern states, as per the provisional report of census 2011. The population of Meghalaya as of 2011 has been estimated at 2,964,007 of which females constitute 1,492,668 and males 1,471,339. As per the census of India 2011, the sex ratio in the state was 986 females per 1,000 males which was far higher than the national average of 940. The urban female sex ratio of 985 was higher than the rural sex ratio of 972.
Meghalaya is one of three states in India to have a Christian majority. About 75% of the population practices Christianity, with Presbyterians, Baptists and Catholics the more common denominations. The religion of the people in Meghalaya is closely related to their ethnicity. Close to 90% of the Garo tribe and nearly 80% of the Khasi are Christian, while more than 97% of the Hajong, 98.53% of the Koch, and 94.60% of the Rabha tribes are Hindu.
Hindus are the largest religious minority in Meghalaya with 11.52% of the total state's population as of 2011 census Hindus are concentrated mainly in West Garo Hills, East Khasi Hills and Ri-Bhoi with 19.11 per cent, 17.55 per cent and 11.96 per cent respectively. The Nartiang Durga Temple is a major Hindu temple in Meghalaya and it is one of the 51 Shakti peethas on Earth.