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India By State - Sikkim - State Overview

State Overview

Economic Snapshot

Capital Gangtok
Area (sq km) 7,096
Population(2001) 0.54 million
Literacy Rate (%) 68.8
NSDP (US$ million) 494.9
NSDP growth (%) (10 years) 13.7
Per capita income (US$) 986.8
National highways length (km) 62
Rail length (km) ) 184
Domestic airport Bagdogra
Key Industries Tourism, Agriculture, Agro-processing, handlooms and handicraft, hydroelectric power, tea, minerals, sericulture, Horticulture
Industries with growth potential Bamboo, IT

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Covering an area of 7 096 sq km, Sikkim is the least populated and third smallest state in India. Situated in the North East region of the country it shares its borders with the state of West Bengal and neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.

The state is divided into four administrative districts and the capital is Gangtok.

Being situated in the north east of India Is home to 28 mountain peaks, 84 glaciers, 227 lakes, 5 hot springs and 8 mountain passes making it an ideal tourist location. Due to its 15 soil series and eight sub-groups Sikkim is a fertile land for cultivation and so agricultural sector is a major contributor to the states GSDP.



Total population (million) 0.54
Male Population (million) 0.28
Female Population (million) 0.25
Population Growth Rate 1991-2001 (%) 33.06
Sex Ratio (females per 1000 males) 986
Literacy rate (%) 68.80
Male (%) 76.00
Female (%) 64.4



At current prices in 2007-08 the GSDP for the state of Sikkim was US$ 585.2 million and had grown at a CAGR of 13.9 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2007-08. Sikkim was among the states that recorded high GSDP growth rates between 1999-2000 and 2007-08. The NSDP also saw significant growth with growth at a CAGR of 13.7 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2007-08. The NSDP at current prices was US$ 494.9 million in 2007-08.

The secondary sector was the fastest growing sector at a CAGR of 13 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2007-08. Growth was mainly seen in the construction and hydroelectric power.

However the largest contributor to the states GSDP is the tertiary sector with a contribution of over 69 per cent. The tertiary sector grew steadily at a CAGR of 10.6 percent and is mainly driven by trade, hotels, real estate, transport and communications.

The primary sector is the most consistent contributor to the states economy with a constant share of around 25.3 per cent driven mainly by agriculture. The sector grew at a CAGR of 10.4 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2007-08. The states per capita GSDP in 2007-08 was US$ 986.8 which had increased at a CAGR of 11.9 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2000-08, having more than doubled during this period. The increase in the states per capita GSDP has been a result of an increase in trade, tourism, transportation and agriculture.

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Physical Infrastructure

The total road length in Sikkim is 2873 km with a road density of 41 km per 100 sq km. the roads are maintained by the Public works Department (PWD) and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

The Sikkim Nationalised Transport (SNT) operates 87 busses and 92 trucks across the state, carrying 60 per cent of the state's total freight and covering 43 routes.

There is currently a rail link being created between Rangpoo and Siliguri in West Bengal. Pakyong is the site of construction for a domestic level airport. There are currently helicopter services available from Bagdora (West Bengal) to Gangtok.


In March 2009 Sikkim had a total installed power generation capacity of 46.1 MW which was made up of 5 MW of diesel power and 41.1 MW of Hydroelectric power.

The state government has approved 30 new hydro electric power plants (HEP), which are at various stages of construction and would have an installed capacity of 5,352.7 MW when complete. 24 of the proposed 30 HEPs are being set up under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The State has a peak hydroelectric capacity 8 000 MW with a firm base of 3 000 MW, providing a huge potential for development.


Sikkim is one of the most developed states with the highest tele-density in the country. The state had more than 49 000 landline phone connections and 15 000 plus mobile connections in 2004. Forty Community Information Centres have been constructed across the state. They provide Internet-based interface for implementing various government programmes and schemes.

There are also postal services available through India post and other private courier services.


The water supply is provided to the capital, eight urban towns and 55 rural towns by the Sikkim Water Security & Public Health Engineering (WS&PHE). The water system is well developed and supply is plentiful, in Gangtok the requirement is of 27 million litres per day and the WS&PHE has a storage and distribution capacity of 45.45 million litres.

The capital, Gangtok, is the only town in Sikkim to have a full-fledged sewerage system. The sewerage system currently caters for almost 50 per cent of the town with expansion works underway. The expansion work is taking place under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) at a cost of US$ 5.3 million.

Funding has also been made available under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) for a US$ 4.4 million project for the construction of housing facilities for the urban poor.

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Social Infrastructure


Sikkim's literacy rate increased from 68.8 per cent in 2001 to 74.3 per cent in 2005 evidence of a strong education infrastructure. Sikkim is home to one of the top Universities in the country, The Sikkim Manipal University (SMU), which provides technical, healthcare and science education.


Sikkim boasts one of the best health infrastructures in the country; it fares better than the national average in almost all health indicators:

Comparison of health Indicators

Health Indicators

Population-to-bed ratio, 2004-05 530
Birth Rate* 18.1
Infant Mortalitly Rate**, 2005 30.0
Total fertility rate, 2005-06 2.0

Health tourism is being promoted in the state to utilise its medical infrastructure and boost the economy.

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Industrial Infrastructure

Sikkim is a leading North eastern state in hydro electric power development with PPPs with 24 different projects identified.

The state government has identified Rangpo-Gangtok, Melli-Jorethang, Jorethang-Rishi and Ranipool-Gangtok as industrial corridors with provision for giving the land to the investors on a lease basis.

The strategically important, Nathula Pass, has been opened to provide trade links with Tibet and China; this has given a fillip to trade and manufacturing in the region.

The State Government has invited "Expression of Interest" (EOI) from interested parties to invest in PPP projects in the tourism sector. Sikkim has identified agro-based industries, horticulture and floriculture, minor forest-based industries, animal husbandry and dairy products, tourism-related industries, IT including knowledge-based industries, precision oriented high value low volume products, hydro-power, tea, education and hospitality as thrust sectors.

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More Information on Sikkim

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