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People & Population

The total area of Kerala is 38,8663 sq. Kilometers and is 1.8% of the area of India. The population is about 30 million and is about 3.4% of the total Indian population. Kerala tops in literacy in the whole country and is nearly 100%. Altogether there are 6 universities of which 2 are technical. Reading habits are very high and there are about 170 dailies. The largest community is Hindu followed by Muslim and then Christian.

The people of Kerala are noted for their cleanliness and tidiness. Bath in the morning and evening is almost ritualistic here. The dressing is simple although foreign and North Indian fashions sometimes find their expression among the educated youth. The traditional dress for the malayali is a dhothi (a plane piece of cloth about 2 metres long) worn around the waist and a smaller piece on sholder. The Nair ladies used to wear ‘onnara' - one dhothi around the waist, a short blouse and a neriathu (a narrow piece of cloth with a boarder). But most of the women folk now wear sarees. The fashion for youngsters is churidar (a trouser and a long, loose shirt).

The result of high literacy and a low employment opportunity has been a perpetual problem for this thickly populated state. But this is compensated very much by a migration of educated to other states and other countries.