Historically, the name of the district is derived from the princely state of Jhalawar which means the abode of the Jhalas, a Rajput clan. It is believed that ealier the place of Jhalawar was popularly known as Brijnagar and founded by Jhala Zalim Singh I who was the Dewan of Kota state in 1791 A.D. At that time he set up his township as a cantonment and named it as Chaoni Umedpura. His township was full of green woods and wild beasts. Jhala Zalim Singh often came to this place for hunting purpose. The main objective behind the development this place as a military cantonment was only the fact that mostly Maratha invaders passed through this central place from Malwa towards Kota to capture Hadoti states. During the period of British rule, in 1838 A.D. British rulers separated Jhalawar state from Kota state and then gave it to Jhala Madan Singh, the grandson of Jhala Zalim Singh. Slowly and gradually he started to develop his administration services in order to grew up the state of Jhalawar and in this way made his great contribution in the history of Jhalawar. Jhala Madan Singh controlled the entire place of Jhalawar from 1838 to 1845. After his death, Jhala Prithvi Singh became the ruler of Jhalawar, and ruled for around 30 years.
The district has given birth to several political personalities. Nand Chaturvedi was born in the year 1923 in Jhalawar. He was a socialist, a well-known Hindi poet and a litterateur. He was awarded with Bihari Puraskar of KK Birla Foundation in 1996, Prasaran Sanmaan in 1998 from Prasar Bharati, Equality Writer Award by Astha Sansthan on Jan-2007, Sahitya Vachaspati in Prayag Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in 2008, Mira Puraskar and Lok Mangal Puraskar. Bhagat Pipa was a Rajput king of Gagaraungarh. Later, he became a saint and Hindu mystic poet of the Bhakti movement. His devotional hymns are incorporated in Guru Granth Sahib, a Sikhism scripture.
Geographically, the district has a geographical area of 6,219 square kilometers and occupies the rank 20th in the State and 161st in India on basis of this size. As per data recorded in the year 2019, the forest covers to 7.00% of the total geographical area of the district. It lies at 24059'N latitude, 76016'E longitude and 312 m altitude. It is bounded by Kota district on the North-West, by Baran district on the North East, by Guna district of Madhya Pradesh state on the East, by Rajgarh and Shajapur districts of Madhya Pradesh state on the South and by Ratlam, Mandsaur and Nimach districts of Madhya Pradesh state on the West. The district lies on the edge of Malwa Plateau. It is situated in the Hadoti region. The Kali River passes through the district. The climate of the district is extremely hot in the summer and fairly cold in the winters. The actual rainfall in the district was 958.6 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administratively, the district has 7 sub-districts. Moreover, it has 9 towns 1,606 villages. The district of Jhalawar came into existence on in the state of Rajasthan with an allotted district code of 129. Jhalawar is its district Headquarters which is located at a distance of 337 km. from the State Capital. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
Demographically, according to 2011 census, the district comprising total number of 2,82,208 households with a total population of 14,11,129 including 7,25,143 are males and 6,85,986 are females which causes it to rank 24th in the state and 349th in India. The population growth rate during the period 2001 to 2011 was 19.55% with 18.33% are males and 20.87% are females. The density of population of the district is 227 persons per sq km. The sex ratio is at 946 (females per 1000 males) while the child ratio stands at 912 (females per 1000 males). As per 2011 census the percentage of major religion practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 92.11%, of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Hindi with 98.80%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 30,043 including 15,613 were males and 14,427 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,476 including 6,191 were males and 3,284 were females.
Economically, agriculture is main source of income for the people of the district. It is one of the districts which are receiving Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF). Tourism is also a main industry in the district. A number of small scale industries are available here. The Gross Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 14,55,430 lakh at current price and Rs. 10,03,963 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during 2016-17 was Rs. 13,17,548 lakh at current price and Rs. 9,04,857 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during 2016-17 was Rs. 86,187 lakh at current price and Rs. 59,191 lakh at constant prices during 2011-2012.
Education wise, according to 2011 census, the percentage of literate is 61.5% with 75.75% are males and 46.53% are females. The total literate population of the district is 7,39,792 including 4,66,815 are males and 2,72,977 are females. There are a number of Government and Private higher educational institutions, schools and P.G. Colleges in the district. The Government Engineering College was established in the year 2007 in the Jhalawar district of Rajasthan. It is affiliated to the Rajasthan Technical University Kota and also approved by AICTE New-Delhi. The college sharps the skills of the students and provides the students various professional and engineering courses. There is a Jhalawar Medical College which is a public medical college. Jhalawar Medical College, Jhalawar was established on August 8th, 2007. It is administered under Jhalawar Hospital and Medical College society. It provides a number of medical courses and degree. The Lady Anusuiya Singhania Education Centre is a school in Jhalawar, under the aegis of JK White Cement Works, Gotan. It is situated between Jhalawar and Jhalrapatan. For the classes of classes XI and XII, the school has two-commerce and science. It was founded in 1984 and reopened in 2007. DR. A. Ramaswamy was its first principal. It received senior secondary affiliation in 2011.
There are several historical and religious places which attract tourist from the worldwide. These places are Jhalawar Fort Garh Palace, Manohar Thana Fort, Dalhanpur Chhapi Dam, Atishay Jain Temples, Gagron Fort, Ren Basera, Government Museum, Prithvi Vilas Palace, Bhimsagar Dam, Buddhist Caves and Stupas. During the year 2018, there were 68 foreign tourists and 97,916 domestic tourists who visited the district.