It is the largest district of West Bengal State by area and second largest by population. It is thesixth mostpopulousdistrict in India. At the very beginning, the capital of Raja Bikramaditya and Maharaja Pratapaditya was located at Dhumghat. Then they shifted it to Ishwaripur. After sometime Maharaja Pratapaditya announced the independence of South Bengal from the hands of Mughal Empire. Shrihari (Shridhar), the father of Pratapaditya was a Kayastha and an influential officer in the service of Daud Khan Karrani.He fled with the government treasure in his custody when the downfall of Daud was started.Then in the year 1574 he established an empire in the marshy land to the extremely southern portion of the Khulna district and became the Maharaja of that place. After him, hisson Pratapaditya inherited the kingship in the year 1574. During the time of the British rule,a district named "24 parganas" started taking shape according to the Clause no.2,3 & 9 under the Regulation Act of the 1793. Under those Clauses, the district of 24 Parganas include all the 24 Mahals, which have been ceded to theBritish. By integrating all those areas, the British established a single district with the name 24 Parganas for the administrative convenience. At that time 24 Parganas were existed principally as revenue collecting area and the civil and the criminal jurisdictions for 24 Parganas have been demarcated by the British government in the Regulation Act. On 1st March, 1986 South 24 Parganas came into exist as a separate district in the map of West Bengal.
Geographically, the district lies at 21°86'N latitudes, 88°37'E longitudes and 4 m Altitude.In the year 2021, there was a total 28.02% forest area of total geographical area. The district occupies a geographical area of 9,960 sq. km. and it is bounded by the river Hooghly in the West, Bay of Bengal in the South, Calcutta city and North 24 Parganas in the North and Bangladesh, Bidya and Matla River in the East. The chief rivers of the district are Matla, Bidyadhari and Garal. The climate of the district is characterized as tropical climate. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2767.6 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district is divided into 5 sub-divisions includes Alipore Sadar,Baruipur,Canning,Diamond Harbour,and Kakdwip. Moreover, the district comprises 118 towns and 2,042 villages. The administrative language in the district is Bangali.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 81,61,961 out of which 41,73,778 are males and 39,88,183 are females. The district has a sex ratio 956 females for every 1000 males. In the year 2001-2011 the population growth of the district was 18.17% including 17.08%were males and 19.35% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions of the district are Hindu and Muslim with 63.17% and 35.57% of the total population. The population density in the district is 819 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Bengali with 97.82%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,08,121 out of which 55,257 were males and 52,864 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 31,764 out of which 18,584 were males and 13,180 were females.
Agriculture, Industry and Pisciculture are the backbone of the economy of the district. The prime agricultural crops of the district are rice, sugarcane, timber and betel nuts. In western side of the district situated Falta Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Various types of industry are situated in the SEZ. The confluence of river Ganga with the sea here forms a congenial physical feature for Pisciculture. Canning is the major center for the transaction of fish in the market. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj announced South 24 Parganas as one of the India's 250 most backward districts. In the year 2013-14 the Gross Domestic Product of the district was Rs. 55,02,467 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 29,23,858 lakh at Constant Prices 2004-2005. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 49,94,807 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 26,07,321 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. The Per Capita Income or NDDP,At Factor Cost in the district during the period 2013-14 was Rs. 56,983 at Current Price and Rs. 29,746 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 77.51% including 83.35% are males and 71.4% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 55,31,657 out of which 30,43,277 are males and 24,88,380 are females.
Sanat Kumar Mandal, an illustrious Indian politician and a leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) political party was born on 14th February, 1942 at Kalikatala in South 24 Parganas district. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004 from Joynagar constituency of West Bengal. Sujan Chakraborty a renowned Indian politician and a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist )political party was born on 16th March, 1959 in South 24 Parganas district. He was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha representing Jadavpur constituency inWest Bengal.
The centres of attraction of the district allure numerous travellers to the district. The Sundarbans is the biggest colony of the ‘Royal Bengal Tigers'. Sundarbans National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most popular sea resort of West Bengal is Bakkhali, situated only 132 kms away from Calcutta. Bakkhali is located on one of the many deltaic islandsspread across southern Bengal. Diamond Harbour is in the southern suburbs of Kolkata, on the banks of the Hooghly River quite near where the river meets the Bay of Bengal. The Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project in the Sunderbans is the home to numerous crocodilesvarying in their age. This is a crocodile-breeding farm that harbours largest numberof estuarine crocodiles in India. The most pilgrimage place in South 24 parganas districtis the Gangasagar.