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List of districts in West Bengal facts for kids

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The Himalayas lies in the north of the state and the Bay of Bengal is at the south. In between them, the river Ganga flows eastwards and its main distributary, the Hooghly River, flows south to reach the Bay of Bengal. The Siliguri Corridor, which connects North-East India with rest of the India, lies in the North Bengal region of the state. Geographically, West Bengal is divided into a variety of regions—Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Terai and Dooars region, North Bengal plains, Rarh region, Western plateau and high lands, coastal plains, Sunderbans and the Ganga Delta.

In 1947, when India gained independence, the state of West Bengal was formed with 14 districts, as per partition plan of the then Bengal province of British India. The former princely state Koch Bihar joined as a district in 1950, and the former French enclave Chandannagore joined as part of the Hooghly district in 1954. The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 led to addition of Purulia district to the state and to enlargement of West Dinajpur district. Later, larger districts such as West Dinajpur, 24 Parganas and Midnapore were bifurcated. Till 24 June 2014 West Bengal was divided into 19 districts.

West Bengal is now divided into 23 districts which includes the newly formed Jhargram district, Alipurduar district and the Kalimpong district, Paschim Bardhaman district under five divisions and divisions are administered by Divisional Commissioners. Kolkata, the capital of the state, constitutes the Kolkata district. Other districts are further divided into administrative units such as subdivisions and blocks, administered by SDO and BDO, respectively. The Panchayati Raj has a three-tier structure in the state. The atomic unit is called a Gram Panchayat, which is the Panchayat organisation for a collection of villages. The block-level organisations are called Panchayat Samiti, and the district-level organisations are named Zilla Parishad.

Administrative structure

Division Of West Bangal Map
Divisions of West Bengal

A district is governed by a District Collector, who is better known as a District Magistrate (DM) in the state of West Bengal. A DM is an officer from either Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or West Bengal Civil Service (WBCS), and is appointed by the State Government of West Bengal. Each district is divided into subdivisions, except the Kolkata district, which contains urban area only, administered by Kolkata Municipal Corporation. A subdivision is governed by a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), better known as a Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO). Other than urban units such as town municipalities, a subdivision contains 'community development blocks' (also known as CD blocks or blocks). A block consists of urban units such as census towns and rural units called gram panchayats. A block is administered by a Block Development Officer (BDO), who is appointed by the Government of West Bengal.

A gram panchayat, which consists of a group of villages, is administered by a village council headed by a Pradhan. As per the West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973, each Block has a Panchayat Samiti, whose members include the Pradhans of the constituent gram panchayats, and the MLAs from the block. A Panchayat Samiti is headed by a Sabhadhipati. The third tier of the Panchayati Raj is Zilla Parishad, a district level organisation with the Sabhapatis of the constituent Panchayat Samitis and the MLAs from the district as its members. A Zilla Parishad is headed by a Sabhadhipati. For the Darjeeling district, the Zilla Parishad has ceased to exist, but a similar organisation for the Siliguri subdivision exists, which is designated as a Mahakuma Parishad.

The Gorkha Hill Council, formed in 1988, administers three (out of four) subdivisions of the Darjeeling district: Darjeeling Sadar, Kalimpong and Kurseong. Gorkha Hill Council manages the departments of Public Health, Education, Public Works, Transport, Tourism, Market, Small scale industries, Agriculture, Agricultural waterways, Forest (except reserved forests), Water, Livestock, Vocational Training and Sports and Youth services. District administration of Darjeeling, which is still responsible for election, panchayat, law and order, revenue etc., also acts as an interface between the Council and the State Government.

A District Superintendent of Police, better known as a Superintendent of Police, heads the District Police organisation of West Bengal Police. This is as per the Police Act of 1861, which is applicable to the whole of India. The Superintendents of Police are officers of the Indian Police Service. For every subdivision, there is a Subdivision Police, headed by a Police officer of the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police. Under subdivisions, there are Police Circles, each headed by an Inspector of Police. A Police Circle consists of Police Stations, each headed by an Inspector of Police, or in case of rural areas, by a Sub-Inspector of Police.

The Calcutta High Court has the jurisdiction of the state of West Bengal. Though most of the districts have more courts other than a District Court, not every subdivision of the state has a Court.

A group of districts forms a division, which is administered by a 'Divisional Commissioner'. West Bengal is now divided in twenty three districts, grouped under five divisions:

Malda division Burdwan division Jalpaiguri division Presidency division Medinipur division
  • Malda district
  • Uttar Dinajpur district
  • Dakshin Dinajpur district
  • Murshidabad district
  • Alipurduar district
  • Cooch Behar district
  • Darjeeling district
  • Jalpaiguri district
  • Kalimpong district
  • Howrah district
  • Kolkata district
  • Nadia district
  • North 24 Parganas district (Uttar 24 Parganas)
  • South 24 Parganas district (Dakshin 24 Parganas)
  • Bankura district
  • Jhargram district
  • Purulia district
  • Purba Medinipur district
  • Paschim Medinipur district

Alphabetical listing of West Bengal

Code District Headquarters Established Subdivisions Area Population As of 2011 Population Density Map
AD Alipurduar Alipurduar 2014
  • Alipurduar
3,383 km2 (1,306 sq mi) 1,700,000 400/km2 (1,000/sq mi) Alipurduar District.png
BN Bankura Bankura 1947
  • Bankura Sadar
  • Khatra
  • Bishnupur
6,882 km2 (2,657 sq mi) 3,596,292 523/km2 (1,350/sq mi)
Bankura district.svg
BR Purba Bardhaman Bardhaman 2017
  • Kalna
  • Katwa
  • Bardhaman Sadar North
  • Bardhaman Sadar South
7,024 km2 (2,712 sq mi) 7,723,663 1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)
Bardhaman district.svg
Paschim Bardhaman Asansol 2017
  • Asansol Sadar subdivision
  • Durgapur subdivision
1,603.17 km2 (618.99 sq mi) 2,882,031 1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
BI Birbhum Suri 1947
  • Suri Sadar
  • Bolpur
  • Rampurhat
4,545 km2 (1,755 sq mi) 3,502,387 771/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Birbhum district.svg
KB Cooch Behar Cooch Behar 1950
  • Cooch Behar Sadar
  • Dinhata
  • Mathabhanga
  • Mekhliganj
  • Tufanganj
3,387 km2 (1,308 sq mi) 2,822,780 833/km2 (2,160/sq mi)
Cooch Behar district.svg
DA Darjeeling Darjeeling 1947
  • Darjeeling Sadar
  • Kurseong
  • Siliguri
2,092.5 km2 (807.9 sq mi) 1,797,422 859/km2 (2,220/sq mi)
Darjeeling district.svg
ME Purba Medinipur Tamluk 2002
  • Tamluk
  • Haldia
  • Egra
  • Contai
4,736 km2 (1,829 sq mi) 5,094,238 1,076/km2 (2,790/sq mi)
Purba Medinipur district.svg
HG Hooghly Chinsura 1947
  • Chinsurah
  • Chandannagore
  • Srirampore
  • Arambagh
3,149 km2 (1,216 sq mi) 5,520,389 1,753/km2 (4,540/sq mi)
Hooghly district.svg
HR Howrah Howrah 1947
  • Howrah Sadar
  • Uluberia
1,467 km2 (566 sq mi) 1,072,161 -
Howrah district.svg
JP Jalpaiguri Jalpaiguri 1869
  • Jalpaiguri Sadar
  • Malbazar
2,844 km2 (1,098 sq mi) 2,172,846 621/km2 (1,610/sq mi)
Jalpaiguri district.svg
JH Jhargram Jhargram 2017
  • Jhargram
3,037.64 km2 (1,172.84 sq mi) 1,136,548 833/km2 (2,160/sq mi)
KO Kolkata Kolkata 1947 185 km2 (71 sq mi) 4,486,679 24,252/km2 (62,810/sq mi)
Kolkata district old.svg
KA Kalimpong Kalimpong 2017
  • Kalimpong
1,044 km2 (403 sq mi) 251,642
MA Malda English Bazar 1947
  • Chanchal
  • Malda Sadar
3,733 km2 (1,441 sq mi) 3,997,970 1,071/km2 (2,770/sq mi)
Malda district.svg
MU Murshidabad Baharampur 1947
  • Barhampur
  • Domkol
  • Lalbag
  • Kandi
  • Jangipur
5,324 km2 (2,056 sq mi) 7,102,430 1,334/km2 (3,460/sq mi)
Murshidabad district.svg
NA Nadia Krishnanagar 1947
  • Krishnanagar Sadar
  • Kalyani
  • Ranaghat
  • Tehatta
3,927 km2 (1,516 sq mi) 5,168,488 1,316/km2 (3,410/sq mi)
Nadia district.svg
PN North 24 Parganas Barasat 1986
  • Barrackpore
  • Barasat Sadar
  • Bangaon
  • Basirhat
  • Bidhannagar
4,094 km2 (1,581 sq mi) 10,082,852 2,463/km2 (6,380/sq mi)
North 24 Parganas district.svg
UD Uttar Dinajpur Raiganj 1992
  • Raiganj
  • Islampur
3,140 km2 (1,210 sq mi) 3,000,849 956/km2 (2,480/sq mi)
Uttar Dinajpur district.svg
PU Purulia Purulia 1956
  • Purulia Sadar East
  • Jhalda
  • Manbazar
  • Purulia Sadar West
  • Raghunathpur
6,259 km2 (2,417 sq mi) 2,927,965 468/km2 (1,210/sq mi)
Purulia district.svg
PS South 24 Parganas Alipore 1986
  • Baruipur
  • Canning
  • Diamond Harbour
  • Kakdwip
  • Alipore Sadar
9,960 km2 (3,850 sq mi) 8,153,176 819/km2 (2,120/sq mi)
South 24 Parganas district.svg
DD Dakshin Dinajpur Balurghat 1992
  • Balurghat
  • Gangarampur
2,219 km2 (857 sq mi) 1,670,931 753/km2 (1,950/sq mi)
Dakshin Dinajpur district.svg
ME Paschim Midnapore Medinipur 2002
  • Kharagpur
  • Medinipur Sadar
  • Ghatal
9,345 km2 (3,608 sq mi) 5,943,300 636/km2 (1,650/sq mi)
West Midnapore district.svg
Total 23 74 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi) 91,347,736 1,029/km2 (2,670/sq mi)
India WB


The following is a list of the basic demographic data for the districts of West Bengal by their population rank in India

Rank District Population Growth Rate Sex Ratio Literacy Density/KM Comparable Country (by population)
2 North 24 Parganas 11,060,148 12.86 955 84.53 2,445 Bolivia
6 South 24 Parganas 9,161,961 18.17 956 77.51 819 Honduras
7 Bardhaman 7,717,563 11.92 945 76.21 1,099 Togo
9 Murshidabad 7,103,807 21.09 958 66.59 1,334 Bulgaria
14 West Midnapore 5,943,300 14.44 960 79.04 636 Kyrgyzstan
16 Hooghly 5,520,389 9.49 958 82.55 1,753 Finland
18 Nadia 5,168,488 12.24 947 75.58 1,316 Congo
20 East Midnapore 5,094,238 15.32 936 87.66 1,076 Eritrea
23 Howrah 4,841,638 13.31 935 83.85 3,300 Ireland
35 Kolkata 4,496,694 -1.67 908 86.31 24,306 Mauritania
58 Malda 3,997,970 21.50 939 62.71 1,071 Moldova
66 Jalpaiguri 3,869,675 13.77 954 73.79 621 Georgia
80 Bankura 3,596,292 12.64 954 70.95 523 Bosnia and Herzegovina
84 Birbhum 3,502,387 16.15 956 70.90 771 Bosnia and Herzegovina
124 North Dinajpur 3,000,849 22.90 936 60.13 956 Mongolia
129 Purulia 2,927,965 15.43 955 65.38 468 Albania
136 Cooch Behar 2,822,780 13.86 942 75.49 833 Lithuania
257 Darjeeling 1,842,034 14.47 971 79.92 585 Guinea-Bissau
295 South Dinajpur 1,670,931 11.16 954 73.86 753 Bahrain
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List of districts in West Bengal Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.