The place of Ri Bhoi as a separate district came into existence on 4th June, 1992 by upgrading the former Civil sub-division. The district was created after it carved out from the earlier East Khasi Hills district. The place comprises some parts of the Khasi kingdoms such as Mylliem Syiemship, Khyrim Syiemship, Nongspung Syiemship, Nongkhlaw Syiemship, entire Nongpoh Sirdarship (former Nongpoh Syiemship), Myrdon Sirdarship and former Nongwah Syiemship. Presently, Nongwah Syiemship is one of the missing Khasi States which made a call for restoration both in terms of administration and territory.
Geographically, the district has a total area of 2,448 sq. km. and occupies the rank 6th State and 446th in India on the basis of the size. It lies at 25089' N latitude, 91087' E longitude and 1496 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total forest area of 87.31% out of the total geographical area. It is surrounded by Kamrup District, Morigaon District and Nagaon District of Assam in the North, by East Khasi Hills District and West Khasi Hills District in the South, by Karbi Anglong District, Assam in the East and by West Khasi Hills District in the West. The main rivers that flow through the district are Umtrew, Umsiang, Umran and Umiam. The climate of the district remains pleasant almost throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1334.0 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 3 blocks namely Jirang, Umling and Umsning. It has total 2 towns and 635 villages. English is its official language. Its district code is 297. The district came into existence on 4th June, 1992 with its administrative headquarters located at Nongpoh, situated at a distance of 83 kms from the state capital.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 45,660 households with a total population of 2,58,840 comprising 1,32,531 are males and 1,26,309 are females which causing it to rank 6th in the state and 579th in India. The density of population of the district is 106 (persons per sq km.). The sex ratio is pegged at 953 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 953 (females per 1000 males). The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 34.26% including 33.44% were males and 35.13% were females. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 6,641 including 3,313 were males and 3,328 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 960 including 587 were males and 373 were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Christian and Hindu with 84.42% and 11.96% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Khasi and Marathi with 67.96% and 7.34%.
Economically, the district is dependent on agriculture primarily. Paddy, ginger, maize, winter vegetables, pine apple, turmeric are the major agricultural products of the district. The district is considered as one of the most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Region Grant Fund. The GDDP or Gross District Domestic Product during the period 2007-08 was Rs. 55,093 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 41,593 lakh at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000. The NDDP or Net District Domestic Product during the period 2007-08 was Rs. 48,103 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 36,595 lakh at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2007-08 was Rs. 22,976 at Current Price and Rs. 2,094 at Constant Prices during the period 1999-2000.
Education wise, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate is 75.67% out of which 76.79% are males and 74.49% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 1,55,859 including 80,977 are males and 74,882 are females. The total number of illiterates in the district is 1,02,981 including 51,554 are males and 51,427 are females. Ri-Bhoi College, Regional Institute of Science and Technology, School of Business Science, Union Christian College, Regional Institute of Science and Technology and Eastern Ri-Bhoi College are some of the main educational institutions in the district.
Dr. Donwa Dethwelson Lapang or Dr. D. D. Lapang is a veteran Indian politician who served as the chief minister of Meghalaya in 1992, in 2003, in 2007 and in 2009. In 1972, he represented Nongpoh in the state Legislative Assembly. J. Dringwell Rymbai is a prominent politician who appointed as the deputy speaker of the legislative assembly in the year of 1983 and 1993. He had been the member of the legislative Assembly in 1993, 1998 and 2003. Dr. Donwa Dethwelson Lapang was replaced by him as the Chief Minister of Maghalaya in the year of 2006.
The district has many famous and beautiful tourist places to visit. These places are Umiam Lake, Lum Nehru Park, Dwar Ksuid and Orchid Lake Resort. Every year, a number of tourists visit here from the worldwide. Umiam Lake is also famous as Barapani Lake. It is a reservoir created in 1960s by Umiam river dam. It is famous for water activities. Orchid Lake Resort is constructed under by the Meghalaya Tourism Department. It is located on the banks of the Umiam Lake in Ri-Bhoi District. It is surrounded by natural beauty. A number of water sports facilities are provided by the resort for instance kayaking, water skiing and boating. Lum Nehru Park is also located nearby it. It is a beautiful picnic spot which is well maintained. It has aviary, orchid-house and lawns inside the park.