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The former capital of Portugal's empire in the East, ruled by Portugal from 1510 to 1961, when it was "liberated" by India. In 1987, Goa became one of India's states. The major city of the territory is Panaji, built alongside the ruins of the old city of Goa founded in 1440. In 1991, Goa was 64.7 percent Hindu, 30 percent Christian, 5.3 percent Muslim, reported to be living in harmony. The population in 1991 is recorded as 1,168,622. Its area is 1363 square miles, or 3496 square kilometers – 857 persons per square mile, 334 persons per square kilometer.

Goa is one of India's most developed states, with the highest per capita income and the lowest birth rate. Around the year 2000, literacy for males was 83.6 percent and for females at 67 percent.