Latehar district, a part of the Palamu division is a district of Jharkhand state with its administrative headquarters located at Latehar town. The early history of Palamu is full of many stories of legends and traditions. At the very beginning the place was under the rule of rule of three aboriginal races namely Kharwars, Oraons and Cheros. At that time the tribal group, Oraons had its headquarters located at Rohtas Garh in the then Shahabad district. During the British rule, the natives of the place had played an important role in the independence movements of India. The territory enclosed by the present Latehar district was earlier a part of the Palamu district. Latehar as a separate district was emerged in the map of Jharkhand state on 1st April, 2001 by separating the previous Latehar sub-division of the Palamu district. At present it is a part of the Red Corridor.
Geographically, the district lies at 23074'N latitude and 84050'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 327 m. In the year 2019, there was a total 56.08% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 4,291 sq. km. and it is bounded by Palamu district on the North, Chatra district on the North East, Garhwa district on the North West, Lohardaga district on the South, Ranchi district on the South East and Gumla district on South West. The principal rivers in the district are Barakar, Poanchkhara, Keso, Akto, Gurio, Gukhana, Nadi, Sakri. The climate of the district remains extremely hot in the summers and fairly cold in the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1150.7 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into two sub-divisions namely Latehar and Mahuadanr. It also comprises 9 blocks include Latehar, Chandwa, Balumath, Manika, Barwadih, Garu, Mahuadanr, Bariyatu and Herhanj. Moreover, it has 4 towns and 769 villages. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 7,26,978 out of which 3,69,666 are males and 3,57,312 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 967 (females for every 1000 males). As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 65.07% of the total population. The population density in the district is 169 (persons per sq. km.). The child ratio within the age group of 0-6 year in the district is 968 (females per 1000 males). The percentage of urban and rural population in the district is 7.13% (urban) and 92.87% are (rural). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 29.61% out of which 28.85% were males and 30.41% were females. As per 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 75.18%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 15,400 including 8,072 were males and 7,328 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the was 1,361 including 891 were males and 470 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly based on both the agricultural and industrial sectors. Most of the population in the district are engaged in agricultural activities in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are Paddy, maize, cereals, wheat, oil-seeds, etc. The festival called Karma is celebrated here for good production of agricultural crops. Most of the parts in the district are covered by forests. So, sometime its economy is dependent on forestry products. Kendu and bamboo leaves are commonly used for making some beautiful forestry items like basket. The district is also rich in mineral resources. Coal, Bauxite, Laterite, Dolomite, and Graphite etc are available in the district in a huge quantity. The district is scantily industrialised but it has some small scale industries such as paddy thrashing, bamboo basket making, selling of mahua flowers, etc contributes in its economy to a remarkable extent. In the year 2006 the Indian government declared Ranchi as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 59.51% including 69.97% are males and 48.68% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 3,50,682 out of which 2,09,706 are males and 1,40,976 are females.
Subodh Kant Sahay, a veteran Indian politician and a member of the 14th Lok Sabha from the Ranchi constituency of Jharkhand was born on 11th June, 1951 at Latehar town. He is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Betla National Park, one of the most famous national parks of the country is located at Chota Nagpur Plateau in the Latehar district. The park boasts a wide variety of wild life. The term "Betla" is a short form of the following words-bison, elephant, tiger, leopard, axis-axis (Chital). It spreads over an area of 979 sq. km. The park became one of the earliest 9 tiger reserves in India under 'Project Tiger' in 1974. Netarhat, a beautiful town in the Latehar district is referred to as the “Queen of Chotanagpur”. It is a popular hill station which draws number of tourists every year from all over India and abroad too. The name of the place, Netarhat means Nature's Heart. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Kanti Waterfalls, Lower Ghaghri Waterfalls, Sahi Falls, Lodh Waterfalls, Mirchaiya Waterfalls, Upper Ghaghri Waterfalls, Saint Paramhans Baba Tomb, Makamaro Hills, Shaktipeeth Maa Chanchala Devi and many more.