Historically, Nabarangpur district was once the part of Koraput district. That why its language, lifestyle, heritage, flora and fauna and climate matches with the Koraput district. The Kalinga, the Satavahanas and the Ikshvakus dynasties ruled over the region. In the 5th century CE, it was part of Ganga dynasty. The next kings belonged to the Matsya family. In the 14th century, the region belonged by Sailavansis. Pratap Ganga Raju was the last ruler of Sailavansa. He ruled till the advent of British. Now, the district comes under the Red Corridor. During the 20th century, Ramachandra Dev IV (1920-31) was an honourable lieutenant in the World War I. Then he was succeeded by a benevolent, aged, scholar king named Vikram Dev IV, the son of Krishna Chandra Dev. Finally, the state of Orissa was formed on 1st April, 1936 with Koraput as one of the six districts. Later, Nabarangpur district came into existence on 2nd October, 1992 as it was separated from a previous subdivision of the Koraput district. Until then Koraput district had been the second largest district in India.
Geographically, the district lies at 19°23'N latitude, 82°55'E longitude and 557 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 21.67% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,291 sq kms. and it is bounded by Chhattisgarh on the North and West, Koraput district on the South and Kalahandi district on the East. The principal rivers in the district are Indravati, Telen and Bhaskal. 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 1596.5 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district has one sub-division namely Nabarangpur. Moreover, it comprises 12 sub-districts, 5 towns and 891 villages. The administrative language in the district is Oriya.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 12,20,946 out of which 6,04,812 are males and 6,16,134 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1019 (females for every 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 19.03% out of which 17.40% are males and 20.67% are females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 96.48% of the total population. The population density in the district is 231 (persons per sq. kms.). As per 2011 census the principal language in the district is Oriya with 79.09%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 27,286 out of which 13,897 were males and 13,389 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 10,077 out of which 5,552 were males and 4,525 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly based on agricultural sector. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are paddy, maize, pulses, sugarcane, cowpea, groundnut, mango, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. The district is also rich in mineral resources like iron, chlorite, mica, quartz, limonite, haematite, etc. But the district is scantily industrialised. In the year 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Nabarangpur as one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640) and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2011-12 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 3,28,095 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,99,463 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2011-12 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 2,96,760 lakh at current price and Rs. 1,77,460 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institution. It provides a platform for higher education. One of the best oldest schools for boys in the Nabarangpur is Raja Chaitanya Dev high school, located near the Mosque of Nabarangpur in Pathan Street. The School was established in the year 1934 and operates under Board of Secondary Education-Orissa. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 46.43% out of which 57.31% are males and 35.8% are females. The literate population in the district is 4,70,379 including 2,86,984 are males and 1,83,395 are females.
Parsuram Majhi was the representative of the Nowrangpur constituency of Odisha in the 13th Lok Sabha and 14th Lok Sabha of India. He belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Balabhadra Majhi belongs to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). He is the member of the 16th Lok Sabha. Pradeep Majhi was the member of 15th Lok Sabha. He is the present State Vice-president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee. He is also serving as the Secretary of the Indian Youth Congress and President of Zilla Parishad.
The district has several famous historical and religious places to visit. The names of these places are Chandan Dhara, Deer Park, Hirli Dangar, Papadahandi, Podagada, Sahid Srutistamba, Umerkote. In the year of 2018, there were total 4,98,770 domestic tourists and 152 foreign tourists who visited the historical places of the district.