This article provides a profile of Tamil Nadu for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
- State capital: Chennai
- Land area: 130,058 sq km
- Population: 72,147,030
- Head of government: M. K. Stalin (Chief Minister)
- State languages: Tamil
- GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product): US$265.49 billion (2020-21)
- Major cities: Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Salem & Tirunelveli.
Tamil Nadu, or land of the Tamils, is the fourth largest state of India and is located in the extreme south of the Indian subcontinent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the east and south, and by the states of Kerala to the west, Karnataka to the northwest, and Andhra Pradesh to the north. Along the north-central coast of Tamil Nadu are the enclaves of Puducherry and Karaikal, both of which are part of the Puducherry union territory. Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is the capital city, located on the northeastern coast of the state. Tamil Nadu represents the Tamil-speaking area of what was formerly the Madras Presidency of British India.
According to Indian census data (2011), Tamil Nadu has a population of 72,147,030, an increase from the figure of 62,405,679 recorded in the 2001 census. Out of the total population, male and female are 36,137,975 and 36,009,055 respectively. Population growth of Tamil Nadu was 15.61 percent during the 2001-2011 period. The population of Tamil Nadu forms 5.96 percent of India in 2011. The average literacy rate of Tamil Nadu is 80.09 percent.
The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Tamil Nadu grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.56 percent between 2015-16 and 2020-21, reaching US$265.49 billion in 2020-21. The Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) expanded at a CAGR of 10.60 percent to reach US$ 239.00 billion between 2015-16 and 2019-21.
The key industries of Tamil Nadu include textiles, heavy commercial vehicles, automobile and auto components, engineering, IT and ITes (IT-enabled services), cement, banking and financial services, drugs and pharmaceuticals, agro and food processing, leather tanning industries, electronic hardware and tourism. In 2020-21, the service sector contributed 54.26 percent to the state’s Gross State Value Added (GSVA) at current prices, followed by the secondary sector at 32.39 percent.
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry stood at US$ 3,329 million between October 2019 and March 2021.
Tamil Nadu is a state with diverse tourist attractions and a thriving tourism industry. Its mountains and vegetation, beaches, wildlife, monuments and temples, and rustic rural life beckon visitors. Popular hill stations include Ooty, Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Elagiri, Javvadhu Hills, Kolli Hills, Sirumalai Hills, Valparai, Topslip, Parvathamalai Hills and Pachamalai Hills. Famous waterfalls include the cascades in Courtallam, Hogenakkal, Thiruparappu, Monkey Falls, Thirumurthi Hills, Agaya Gangai and Papanasam Falls.
Tamil Nadu has excellent national parks such as the Guindy National Park and Anamalai National Park, and wildlife sanctuaries in Mudumalai, Kodiakarai, Kalakkad Mundanthurai, and Berijam. The vast coastline of Tamil Nadu has many silvery beaches like the Marina, Elliots, Thiruvanmiyur, Tiruchendur, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari beaches.
Famous temples at Madurai, Thanjavur, Rameswaram, Kumbakonam, Chidambaram and Tiruchirappalli showcase Tamil Nadu’s rich culture, artistic excellence and architectural splendour. The “Great Living Chola Temples” in Thanjavur, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darasuram as well as the group of monuments in Mamallapuram are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Singapore and Tamil Nadu
In November 2017, Singapore’s Consul General in Chennai, Roy Kho announced that Singapore was keen on starting new ventures in Tamil Nadu and strengthening its ties with India. He said that Singapore accounted for 3.4 percent of India’s foreign trade and was keen on starting new ventures in Tamil Nadu to improve trade and business. He noted that India was investment-friendly, especially Tamil Nadu which is known for its “investment-friendly policies, amazing architecture and rich culture.” Noting that Singapore was the second largest foreign investor in India, the Consul General said that India and Singapore had marked 50 years of diplomatic relations.