Goalpara district is a district of Assam state with its administrative headquarters located at Goalpara town. The district got its name from its headquarters town, Goalpara. It is believed that the term Goalpara is originally derived from the word “Gwaltippika” meaning the village of the milk men. In the local language, "para" means village. Earlier the place was under the rule of Rajbongsi Kings. In the year 1765 the British came to this place and started to rule over it. During that period Sir Edward Gait had made a statement based on the report of the Chinese traveller named, Hiuentsang was that the previous capital of the state of Kumar Bhaskar Varman was either in Goalpara district or in Cooch Behar. Prior to this, the region was a significant part of the Koch dynasty. Then it was also remained under the greater British Bengal for some time. The British came to Assam in 1826 and the region, Goalpara along with the district headquarters at Dhubri was annexed to Assam in 1874. At present the former Goalpara district is divided into four different districts namely Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara. Goalpara as a separate district came into existence in the year 1983.
Adil Hussain, an eminent Indian stage, television and film actor was born on 5th October, 1963 at Goalpara town. He has also worked in the international films like The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Life of Pi in the same year 2012.
Geographically, the district lies at 26°18'N latitude, 90°62'E longitude and 35 m Altitude. In the year 2021, there was a total 22.18% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,824 sq km. and it is bounded by the Brahmaputra River on the North, East Garo Hill district of Meghalaya on the South, Kamrup district on the East and Dhubri district on the West. The climate of the district remains neither too hot in summer and nor too cold in winter. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2074.3 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district comprises 5 sub-districts, 11 towns and 829 villages. The administrative language in the district is Assamese and English.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 10,08,183 out of which 5,13,292 are males and 4,94,891 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 964 (females for every 1000 males) and child ratio of 963 (females per 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 22.64% including 22.14% were males and 23.17% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Muslim and Hindu with 57.52% and 34.51% of the total population. The population density in the district is 553 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Assamese and Bengali with 51.81% and 29.69%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 22,320 out of which 11,964 were males and 10,356 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 5,316 out of which 3,168 were males and 2,148 were females.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the district. Most of the people in the district are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, wheat, maize, black gram, green gram, lentil, sesame, jute, pea, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is scantily industrialised. In 2006 the Indian government declared Goalpara 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 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 6,67,730 lakhs at current price and Rs. 4,77,030 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2007-08 was Rs. 1,51,249 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,17,426 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 58,621 at current price and Rs. 41,944 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well-known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of its recognised educational institutions are Government B. T. College, Asian Mission Institute, Adarsha Vidyalaya, Dudhnoi College, Goalpara Jatiya Vidyalaya, Goalpara Law College, Goalpara Science Academy, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Junior Technical School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 67.37% including 71.46% are males and 63.13% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 5,63,577 out of which 3,04,302 are males and 2,59,275 are females. The total number of illiterates in the district is 4,44,606 out of which 2,08,990 are males and 2,35,616 are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Dadan hill, located in the district has a temple of Lord Shiva at its peak. The temple was constructed by Dadan, one of the Generals of King Bana of Sonitpur. There are number of mythological stories associated with the Dadan hill. Hulukunda Pahar, a very beautiful hill located in the Goalpara town is a perfect destination for nature’s lovers since one can easily enjoy the mesmerising scenery of the Brahmaputra River and Naranaryan Setu from this place. Kumri Beel, located at a distance of 11 km. north-western part of the Goalpara town is one of the most attractive and convenient places to develop gardens, boating and bird sanctuary. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Surya Pahar, Pir Majhar, Arjhara Chibinang, Sitalpati Craft and many more.