Largest city- Guwahati
Population (2001)- 26,655,528
Density- 340 per sq km
Area- 78,438 sq km
Official language(s)- Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Karbi
Assam is a state in North Eastern India with its capital at Dispur, now a part of Guwahati. Located just below the eastern Himalayan foothills, it is surrounded by the other northeastern states: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya.
Assam and its commercial capital Guwahati form the gateway to the northeastern states, together called the seven sisters. These states are connected to the rest of India via Assams border with West Bengal and a narrow strip called the Chickens Neck. Assam also shares international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Assam has a multi-ethnic society. Forty five different languages are spoken by different communities in Assam. The state is the meeting place of three major language families: Austroasiatic (5), Sino-Tibetan (24) and Indo-European (12).
Three of the spoken languages do not fall in these families. There is a high degree of bilingualism.
The number of ethnic communities in the state is very large. The People of India Project has studied 115 communities. Of these 79 (69%) identify themselves regionally, 22 (19%) identify themselves locally, and 3 communities identify themselves trans-nationally.
Assam has communities representing many different religions, but the major religion is Hinduism (67.13%). Islam (28.43%) constitutes the largest proportional population among all Indian states except Jammu and Kashmir.
Other significant religions (4.44%) include Animism which is followed by many tribal communities, Buddhism and Sikhism.