India Pakistan Trade Unit India Pakistan Trade Unit Support for UK Trade
The time in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh



Sri Lanka:


United Kingdom(GMT):


Become a member of India Pakistan Trade Unit

Visa for India, Visa for Pakistan, Visa for Sri Lanka and Visa for Bangladesh

Indian Events & trade missions, Pakistan Events, Sri Lanka Events, Bangladesh Events

Maps of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom

EU Logo


Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

India By State - Tamil Nadu - State Overivew

State Overview


Economic Snapshot

Capital Chennai
Area (sq km) 130,058
Population (Census 2001, million) 62.4
Literacy Rate (%) 73.5
Sex Ratio (per 1000 males) (2004) 987
Length of Coastline (km) 1,076 (2nd longest in India)
National Highway Length (km) 2,002
Domestic Airports Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tuticorin
International Airports Chennai and Tiruchirappalli
Major Port Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin with combined tonnage capacity of 73 MT (24 per cent share in India)
Key Industries Textiles, leather tanning industries, cement, paper, power pumps, automobiles and automotive equipments, heavy commercial vehicles and safety matches
Per capita income US$ 1 110.8
Market Potential Value (MPV)* 9 per cent (2nd highest in India)

Top of page Back to top of the page


India's eleventh largest state, Tamil Nadu, is located in extreme southern India. Bordered by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on the north, Tamil Nadu has a long eastern coastline along the Bay of Bengal that turns into a southern coastline on the Indian Ocean. With Kerala on its west, Tamil Nadu is made up of five geographic regions: the Kurinji (mountain region), the Mullai (forest region), the Palai (arid region), the Marudham (fertile plains), and the Neidhal (coastal region).

April and May are the hottest months of this tropical state's year. In these months, the weather can soar all the way up to about 104F (40C). Even the coast sees warm summer temperatures, but receives a cooling sea breeze each night. Clearly, the winter does not bring Tamil Nadu a freeze. Temperatures rarely drop below about 70F (21.1C) anywhere besides high in the hills. Winter also brings monsoon rains from October to December


Population Demographics

  • Population: 62.4 million
  • Density: 478 per sq. km.
  • Urban Population: 43.86%
  • Literacy Rate: 73.47%
  • Male Literacy: 82.33%
  • Female Literacy: 64.55%
  • Sex Ratio: 986 females to 1000 males
  • Decadal Growth Rate: 11.72%
  • Religion(s):82% Hindu, 3% Christian, 2% Muslim, 1% Other

Top of page Back to top of the page


Tamil Nadu is one of the most industrialised states in the country. In terms of contribution of the manufacturing sector to the net state domestic product, the state ranks next to Maharashtra. The state has progressed very much so in such a short span of time and this can be assessed from the fact that from the period between 1999-00 and 20008-09, the state's GSDP has grown at an impressive rate of 13.2 per cent and reached US$ 73.7 billion.

The growth of the state is driven by all the three sectors with primary sector contributing almost 13.7 percent to the total GSDP for the year ending 2006. Within the four sub-groups of primary sector, agriculture and allied activities was the largest component and registered a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.81 per cent between 1999-00 and 2005-06. Secondary and tertiary sector have also made a significant contribution to the total GSDP. The contribution of secondary sector to overall GSDP was 29.6 per cent during 2005-06, out of which success has been mainly in the manufacturing sector that has grown at a CAGR of 9.3 per cent between 1999-00 and 2005-06.

The services sector accounted for 56.7 per cent in the GSDP during 2005-06. From the period between 1990-2000 and 2005-06, fast progress was witnessed in the following sectors: hotels and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financing and insurance and real estates and business services. In the FDI sector, the state has a 13.53 per cent share. In the post-liberalisation era, the state has emerged as a front-runner in attracting a large amount of domestic and foreign investments.

Tamil Nadu's per capita income is one of the highest in India and from US$421.2 in 2000; it has grown to US$1110.8 in 2008-09 which is quite high if we see in comparison to the all India per capita income of $514.2. The annual income of the households is also a prime determinant of the level of prosperity and if there are good numbers of households falling under the high income group, it means the state is economically progressing and is on its way to development.

A comparison of distribution of households by various income categories in Tamil Nadu vis--vis all-India shows that the share of households in higher income categories in Tamil Nadu is more or less the same, especially in case of urban households. In the lowest income category of less than $1,667, only 14.3 per cent of Tamil Nadu's urban households are present, as compared to 12.1 per cent of all India urban households.

As far as the rural households are concerned, around 33 percent fall into the lower income category which is still less as compared to the national figure of 46.2 per cent of all India rural households. Another aspect that indicates the economic wellness of people is the ownership of physical assets such as personal vehicle and consumer electronics. Six per cent of Tamil Nadu's households own a four-wheeler while the all-India figure is just four per cent. Similarly 40 per cent of Tamil Nadu's households own a two-wheeler, which is higher than the all India rate of 18 percent. Key industries of Tamil Nadu are textiles, leather tanning industries, cement, paper, power pumps, automobiles and automotive equipments, heavy commercial vehicles and safety matches.

Top of page Back to top of the page

Physical Infrastructure


Tamil Nadu has a vast network of roads connecting with other major urban centres, agricultural markets and rural habitations with 100% connectivity of rural areas with metal roads. This is partly responsible for the investment growth in the state. Tamil Nadu is served by an extensive road network, providing links between urban centers, agricultural market-places and rural areas.

To upgrade road infrastructure, The Government has implemented a World Bank funded project at a cost of US $500 million. There are 24 national highways in the state, covering a total distance of 2,002 km (1,244 mi). The state is also a terminus for the Golden Quadrilateral project that is scheduled to be completed in 2008. The state has a total road length of 167,000 km (103,769 mi), of which 60,628 km (37,672 mi) are maintained by Highways Department. This is nearly 2.5 times higher than the density of all-India road network. It is currently working on upgrading its road network, though the pace of work is considered slow.


There is an international airport located in Chennai. Chennai International Airport is connected with 19 countries with more than 169 direct flights every week.

Currently, this is the third largest airport in India after Mumbai and Delhi. It has registered a passenger growth of 18% and it is the main hub in South India with more than 10 millions passengers in the year 2005.

In addition, there are domestic airports at Chennai, Coimbatore, Tuticorin, and Madurai. There is an air cargo complex of 12,000 sq. m. under expansion with a present cargo handling capacity of 110,000 MT.

Seven international airlines operate 28 exclusive cargo flights per week and E DI facility for customs clearance.


Tamil Nadu is well connected with 4,180 km with a density of 32.2 km per 1000 sq. km. The main Railway junctions include Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli Chennai has a well-established Suburban Railway network and is in the process of developing a metro.

Tamil Nadu has a well developed rail network as part of Southern Railway. Headquartered at Chennai, the Southern Railway network extends over a large area of India's Southern Peninsula, covering the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Pondicherry, a small portion of Karnataka and a small portion of Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has a total railway track length of 5,952 km (3,698 mi) and there are 532 railway stations in the state. The system connects it with most major cities in India. Main rail junctions in the state include Chennai, Erode, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli Madurai, Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) and Salem.


Tamil Nadu has 3 major ports. Chennai Port, Ennore Port and Tuticorin. There are twin ports at Chennai and Ennore. The volume of cargo in the ports grew by 13% in 2006 after 2005.

Cuddalore, Colachel, Karaikal, Pamban and Valinokkan are currently capable of handling over 73 million metric tonnes of cargo annually (24% share of India). There are seven minor ports, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Cuddalore, Colachel, Karaikal, Pamban and Valinokkan which are currently capable of handling over 73 million metric tonnes of cargo annually (24% share of India). All the minor ports are managed by the Tamil Nadu Maritime Board. Chennai Port is an artificial harbour situated on the Coromandel Coast in South-East India and it is the second principal port in the country for handling containers. Ennore Port was recently converted from an intermediate port to a major port and handles all the coal and ore traffic in Tamil Nadu. The volume of cargo in the ports grew by 13 per cent during 2005.

Top of page Back to top of the page


The state has installed generation capacity of 11 131.6 MW - the 2nd largest in India. Tamil Nadu has an installed power capacity and generation of 4 thermal stations generating 2,970 MW, 4 Gas turbine stations generating 424 MW

The state is one of the few Indian states with Surplus power electricity, enabling the state to sell power to neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka

Power generation increased by a healthy 19.94% in January 2007 as compared to January 2006. The Union Budget is allocating a sum of US$ 62 million for setting up 4 more nuclear reactors in the state with an aggregate capacity of 4,000 MW. The power generation is made up in the following ways:

  • 4 thermal stations generating 2970 MW
  • 4 gas turbine stations generating 424 MW
  • 19 MW from wind mills
  • 37 hydro stations generating 2184 MW
  • 1154 MW from private sector projects
  • 2859 MW as Tamil Nadu's share from Central Generating Stations
  • 335 MW as external assistance
  • 175 MW from captive power plants
  • 3535 MW of generating capacity from privately owned wind farms
  • 376.6 MW of installed capacity of co-generation in sugar mills
  • 78.35 MW of biomass power project
  • 0.165 MW of solar power


Having a tele density of eight per cent, the state is performing quite well on this front and is in fact above the national average of 5.1per cent. It has a 100% digital technology based exchange network.

Tamil Nadu has made good progression in the telecommunication infrastructure with 86 percent rural connectivity covering major parts of villages. According to estimates by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the number of wireless connections in Tamil Nadu was 27.7 million and the number of wire line subscribers was 2.38 million as of September 2008.

Seven service providers in the state make phones available on demand. Chennai has the largest bandwidth of 13,520 Gbps. VSNL has laid another submarine cable linking Chennai with Singapore with a bandwidth of 5.12 Gbps. Six agencies have already been permitted on a non-exclusive basis to create high bandwidth optic fibre cable networks that will cover all the districts. The state houses 12,196 post offices, out of which 8,692 post offices offer postal services and 3,504 provide telegraph services in addition to the postal services. Other important features of Tamil Nadu's telecommunication technology:

  • Bharti is the Single Tel Submarine cable link between Chennai-Singapore with bandwidth of 8.4 terabits per second
  • A second submarine cable with 5.12 terabits per second has been commissioned by VSNL
  • Internet Leased Line with port speeds from 64K to 155 Mbps (STM-1)
  • TV unlinking & Videoconferencing systems
  • Managed Data Network Service Frame Relay technology to meet mission critical applications with disaster recovery solution
  • Long Distance Leased Line (NLD LL) offering point-to-point service with dedicated bandwidth
  • Internet Protocol - Virtual Private Network Service (IPVPN)
  • Value-added services are being provided to meet needs of software / BPO companies

Top of page Back to top of the page

Social Infrastructure


The state boasts of a good educational infrastructure. In 2007-08, almost 5.426 million students were enrolled at the primary school level.

There is a vast network of institutions for imparting higher education, especially technical education. Tamil Nadu has made big efforts to develop infrastructure for higher education. The state has around 355 engineering colleges, 317 polytechnic, 669 industrial training institutes and 548 art and science colleges. As of now, there are near about 1,506 schools that impart vocational education. Participation by the private firms in technical & vocational education is encouraged by the state.

Vocational education was introduced in higher secondary schools during the 10th Five Year Plan period. The state government has set itself the objective of raising the gross enrolment ratio in higher education to 25 per cent by 2020 from the present level of 11.73 per cent. The state has successfully straddled investment in primary and higher education. Its focus on primary education has ensured that as high as 99 per cent of the state population has access to primary education.

Healthcare Infrastructure

TThe state is well equipped with all the health care facilities. It has 315 hospitals, 8683 health sub centres, 1417 primary health centres and 213 dispensaries (please below in the Table). Chennai is popularly known as health care capital of India. Life expectancy at birth for male is 67 years and that for females is 69.8 years for the period between 2000-06 which is higher than the national average for men and women is 64.1 years and 65.4 years respectively.

Tamil Nadu is increasingly been recognised as the medical hub in South Asia. Some of the well known hospitals in Tamil Nadu are Apollo Hospitals, Vijaya Hospitals, the Sankara Nethralaya Eye Hospital, the Christian Medical College Hospital at Vellore and the affiliated hospitals of Ramchandra Medical College. The state government is concentrating on bringing about improvements in the general health, access to health care services and effective control and prevention of communicable diseases.

Top of page Back to top of the page

Industrial Infrastructure

The government of Tamil Nadu established the Madras Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) way back in the year 1984 to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It is one of the seven SEZs set up by the Government of India. It is one among the Multi-product zones housing 101 functional units. Ennore SEZ Co. Ltd (ESCO) has been formed to implement a SEZ Project near Ennore About 2500 acres have been earmarked at US$ 90 million. A SEZ has also been set up in the Krishnagiri District which has achieved "in-principle" approval from Government of India for establishing a multi product Special Economic Zone in an area of about 1055 Hectares in the Hosur and Denkanikotta taluks of Krishnagiri District. As per the estimations, this project will cost around US$ 110 million.

The government of Tamil Nadu has set up two apparel parks one at Tiruppur and other at Irungattukottai near Chennai. It is estimated to cost somewhere around US$ 133 million out of which the government of India has agreed to provide assistance of US$ 6.5 million. The construction work of the Park at Tiruppur is complete and also it has commenced its operations.

The Government has also decided to set up Hi-Tech Weaving Parks namely:

  • Cauvery Hi-Tech Weaving Park
  • Kumarapalayam, Vaigai Hi-Tech Weaving Park
  • Andipatti and Palladam Hi-Tech Weaving Park, Palladam

Top of page Back to top of the page


More Information on Tamil Nadu

Back to interactive India state map

Top of page Back to top of the page


India Pakistan Sri Lanka Bangladesh UK

Indian News, Pakistan News, Sri Lanka News, Bangladesh News

India:Rupee gains 20 paise vs dollar; Sensex up 126 points.


Pakistan:Pakistan welcomes IMF $6.7bn lifeline

Sri Lanka:LankaClear posts Rs 189 m PAT


Bangladesh:GDP growth rises to 6.18pc, per capita income $ 1044 

Text Only Email IPTU+44(0) 121 450 4250 India Pakistan Trade Unit Terms
Copyright ©2008 India Pakistan Trade Unit. All Rights Reserved.  Web design by Websynergi