Kerala Today
The state of Kerala was created in 1956 by the States Reorganization Act, combining various Malayalam speaking regions of South India. The state has an area of 38,863 sq km and is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the south and southeast and the Arabian Sea towards the west. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city and Kochi and Kozhikode the other major cities.

Malayalam is Kerala's official language; Tamil, Tulu, Kannada, Hindi and various Adivasi (Tribal) languages are also spoken by ethnic minorities especially in the south-western region.

Kerala's principal religions are Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. In comparison with the rest of India, Kerala experiences relatively little sectarianism. A significant Jewish community existed in Kerala until the 20th century when most of them migrated to Israel leaving behind only a handful of families. The Paradesi Synagogue at Kochi is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. Jainism has a considerable following in the Wayanad district.

Since independence, Kerala has been managed as a democratic socialist welfare economy. Since the 1990s, the economic liberalisation of India enabled the growth of capitalism and foreign direct investment, leading to economic expansion and job creation. Kerala's Human Development Index rating is today, the highest in India and human development indices— primary level education, health care and elimination of poverty—are among the best in India. According to a national survey, Kerala has one of the highest literacy rates among Indian states and life expectancy was among the highest in India.

Kerala's economy depends on emigrants working in foreign countries (mainly in the Persian Gulf countries such as United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia) and remittances annually contribute more than a fifth of the GDP.

The service sector (including tourism, public administration, banking and finance, transportation, and communications, agricultural and fishing industries dominate the economy. Nearly half of Kerala's people are dependent on agriculture alone for income. Traditional industries manufacturing products such as coir, handlooms, and handicrafts employ around a million people. A small mining sector extracts ilmenite, kaolin, bauxite, silica, quartz, rutile, zircon, and sillimanite. Home gardens and animal husbandry also provide work for hundreds of thousands of people. Other major sectors are tourism, manufacturing, and business process outsourcing.
The Indian Railways' Southern Railway lines run throughout the state, connecting all major towns and cities except those in the highland districts of Idukki and Wayanad. The state has three major international airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode.
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South India
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