Jhabua district, a part of Indore division is a district of Madhya Pradesh state with its administrative headquarters located at Jhabua town. The district got its name from its headquarters town, Jhabua. During the period of British Raj, they made Jhabua as the capital of Central India in the Bhopawar agency. At that time the Rajas of the place, Jhabua was originated from the Rathor dynasty. Another prominent Raja named Rao Bar Singh popularly known as Birji, the fifth son of Rao Jodh of Marwar. After him in 1584, Kunwar Kesho Das or Kishan Das came to this place and founded it. Being the first Raja of this place, he ruled it from 1584 to 1607. After India got its independence in 1947, Jhabua was emerged as a separate district in the newly formed Madhya Bharat state in May, 2008. Again in the year 1956, the Madhya Bharat state was merged into Madhya Pradesh.
Geographically, the district lies at 22°77'N latitude, 74°59'E longitude and 317 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 6.12% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,600 sq km. and interms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 45th in the state and 344th in India. It is bounded by Ratlam district on the North East, Dhar district on the South East, Alirajpur district on the South West, Panchmahal district and Baroda district of Gujarat on the West and Banswara district of Rajasthan on the North West. The climate of the district is characterised as moderate climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 894.0 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 5 tehsils namely Jhabua, Meghnagar, Petlawad, Ranapur and Thandla. There are 1 Lok Sabha seat and 3 Assembly constituencies in the district. Moreover, the district comprises 5 sub-districts, 5 towns and 813 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 10,25,048 out of which 5,15,023 are males and 5,10,025 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 990 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 30.70% including 30.01% were males and 31.40% were females. The population density in the district is 285 persons per sq. km. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 46,142 out of which 24,197 were males and 21,945 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 6,448 out of which 4,268 were males and 2,180 were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 93.74% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Bhili/Bhilodi and Hindi with 85.26% and 13.87%.
The economy of the district is solely based on both the agricultural and small scale industrial sectors. Most of its lands are use for agricultural purposes. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, maize, pulses, oil seeds, tobacco, etc. The district is scantily industrialised only a few mills of flour, handicrafts, oil, etc are available in the district. The district is rich in various small scale ethnic industries likewise, bamboo products, dolls, bead-jewellery and many more items. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these industries helps in its economy to a great extent. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Jhabua as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2019-20 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 8,09,328 lakhs at current price and Rs. 4,95,756 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 7,44,412 lakh at current price and Rs. 4,44,248 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2019-20 was Rs. 63,624 at current price and Rs. 37,969 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher educational institutions. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Shahid Chandrshekhar Azad Govt PG College, Govt Girls Degree College, Govt Mahaveer College, Thandla Govt College, Kendriya Vidyalaya, New Catholic Mission Tribal School, Oxford Eminent Academy School, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 43.3% including 52.85% are males and 33.77% are females.
Kantilal Bhuria, an eminent Indian politician and a member of the Indian National Congress was born on 1st June, 1950 at Jhabua town. He was served as the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs till July 2011. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009 from the Ratlam constituency in Madhya Pradesh.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Bhabhara, a village located at a distance of 32 km. north-west of Jobat in the district. It is the birth place of the well known freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad. Moreover, in the honour of this freedom fighter a small memorial has been constructed in the place Bhabhara which draws numerous visitors from far off places. Deojhiri, a place situated in the district has a renowned ancient temple of Lord Shiva and a jhiri or a perennial spring, which with the passage of time changed into a kund. Pilgrims from distance places comes to this temple to offer their prayers. Lakhmani gram, a small village located on the bank of the Sukar River in the district has a newly constructed marvellous Jain temple. It is a perfect destination for archaeologists, historians and lovers of plastic art. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Malwai, Amkhut, Rangpura, etc.