Bihar (/bɪˈhɑːr/; Hindi pronunciation: [bɪˈɦaːr] (listen)) is a state in eastern India. It is the 2nd largest state by population in 2019, 12th largest by area of 94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi), and 14th largest by GDP in 2021.[10][11] Bihar borders Uttar Pradesh to its west, Nepal to the north, the northern part of West Bengal to the east, and with Jharkhand to the south. The Bihar plain is split by the river Ganges, which flows from west to east.[12]

Quick facts: Bihar, Country, Formation, Statehood, Capital...
Bihar
Clockwise from top right: Aerial view of the capital Patna on the banks of River Ganga, Ruins of ancient Nalanda University, Mata Mundeshwari Temple in Kaimur, Madhubani painting from Mithila region, Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, Brahma Kund hot springs in Rajgir
Anthem: Mere Bharat Ke Kanth Haar
(The Garland of My India)
Location of Bihar in India
Coordinates (Patna): 25.4°N 85.1°E / 25.4; 85.1
CountryIndia
Formation22 March 1912
Statehood26 January 1950
Capital
and largest city
Patna
Districts38
Government
  BodyGovernment of Bihar
  GovernorPhagu Chauhan[1]
  Chief MinisterNitish Kumar
  Deputy Chief MinisterTejashwi Yadav
  Legislature
  Parliamentary constituenciesRajya Sabha (16 seats)
Lok Sabha (40 seats)
Area
  Total94,163 km2 (36,357 sq mi)
  Rank12th
Population
 (2011)[3]
  Total104,099,452
  Rank3rd
  Density1,102/km2 (2,850/sq mi)
  Major Ethnolinguistic Groups
DemonymBihari
GDP nominal (2021–22)
  Total6.75 lakh crore (US$85 billion)
  Per capita54,070 (US$680)
Languages
  OfficialHindi[6]
  Additional officialUrdu[7]
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
UN/LOCODEINBR
ISO 3166 codeIN-BR
Vehicle registrationBR
Industrial and Financial CapitalBegusarai
HDI (2019) 0.574[8] (medium) · 36th
Literacy (2020)68.15%[9]
Sex ratio (2020)1090 /1000 [9]
WebsiteOfficial Website
Symbols of Bihar
MammalGaur (Mithun)
BirdHouse Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
FlowerKachnar (Phanera variegata)
FruitMango (Mangifera indica)
TreePeepal tree (Ficus religiosa)
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On 15 November 2000, southern Bihar was ceded to form the new state of Jharkhand.[13] Only 20% of the population of Bihar lives in urban areas as of 2021.[14] Additionally, almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, giving Bihar the highest proportion of young people of any Indian state.[15] The official languages are Hindi and Urdu, although other languages are common, including Maithili, Magahi, Bhojpuri and other Languages of Bihar.

In Ancient and Classical India, the area that is now Bihar was considered the centre of political and cultural power and as a haven of learning.[16] From Magadha arose India's first empire, the Maurya empire, as well as one of the world's most widely adhered-to religions: Buddhism.[17] Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule.[18] Another region of Bihar, Mithila, was an early centre of learning and the centre of the Videha kingdom.[19][20]

However, since the late 1970s, Bihar has lagged far behind other Indian states in terms of social and economic development.[21] Many economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the policies of the central government, such as the freight equalisation policy,[22][23] its apathy towards Bihar,[24] lack of Bihari sub-nationalism,[25] and the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company.[23] The state government has, however, made significant strides in developing the state.[26] Improved governance has led to an economic revival in the state through increased investment in infrastructure,[27] better healthcare facilities, greater emphasis on education, and a reduction in crime and corruption.[28]

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