The total forest cover in India (2023) is 7,13,789 square kilometers which is 21.71% of the total geographical area of the country. India added 1,540 sq km of forest cover from 2019 to 2021. The forest cover is divided into 3 parts.
- Very dense forest: All land with tree canopy density of 70% and above.
- Moderately dense forest: All land with tree canopy density of 40% – 70%.
- Open forest: All land with tree canopy density of 10% – 40%.
(State-wise forest cover listed below)
Top 5 states/UTs with most forest cover area
- Madhya Pradesh: 77,493 sq km
- Arunachal Pradesh: 66,431 sq km
- Chhattisgarh: 55,717 sq km
- Odisha: 52,156 sq km
- Maharashtra: 50,798 sq km
Top 5 states/UTs with the most forest cover percentage (of their geographical area)
- Lakshadweep: 90.33 %
- Mizoram: 84.53 %
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 81.75 %
- Arunachal Pradesh: 79.33 %
- Meghalaya: 76.00 %
States/UTs with forest cover less than 10% of their geographical area
- Ladakh: 1.35 %
- Haryana: 3.63 %
- Punjab: 3.67 %
- Rajasthan: 4.87 %
- Uttar Pradesh: 6.15 %
- Gujarat: 7.61 %
- Bihar: 7.84 %
States/UTs with considerable forest cover increase from 2019 to 2021
- Andhra Pradesh: 647 sq km increase
- Telangana: 632 sq km increase
- Odisha: 537 sq km increase
Mangrove cover (included in total forest cover)
Mangroves are salt-tolerant plants that grow in coastal brackish waters and are mainly found between 24° N and 38° S latitudes. Mangroves form an important ecosystem hosting various species of flora and fauna. The total mangrove cover in India is 4,992 sq km.
Top 5 states with the most mangrove forest cover in India
- West Bengal: 2,114 sq km
- Gujarat: 1,175 sq km
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 616 sq km
- Andhra Pradesh: 405 sq km
- Maharashtra: 324 sq km
- Odisha: 259 sq km
North-east forest cover
The total forest cover in northeastern states is 1,69,521 sq km which is 64.66% of the total geographical area of the northeast. The Northeast lost 1,020 sq km of forest cover from 2019 to 2021.
Some important points
- The tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghats (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka) have the maximum tree and shrub biodiversity followed by the forests of North-east India.
- Karnataka has the highest tree species richness followed by Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
- The forest cover assessment is done with the help of the LISS III sensor of ISRO’s Resourcesat-2 satellite.
- Since the assessment is done with the help of satellites, many factors affect the accuracy of the gathered data.
State wise forest cover in India 2023
|State/UT||Forest cover (sq km)||Geographical area (sq km)||forest cover percentage (of geographical area)|
|Andhra Pradesh||29,784||1,62,968||18.28 %|
|Arunachal Pradesh||66,431||83.743||79.33 %|
|Himachal Pradesh||15,443||55,673||27.73 %|
|Madhya Pradesh||77,493||3,08,252||25.14 %|
|Tamil Nadu||26,419||1,30,060||20.31 %|
|Uttar Pradesh||14,818||2,40,928||6.15 %|
|West Bengal||16,832||88,752||18.96 %|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||6,744||8,249||81.75 %|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu||227.75||602||37.83 %|
|Jammu and Kashmir||21,387||54,624||39.15 %|
The stats provided in this article are as per the latest India state of forest report.
The total forest and tree cover in India is 8,09,537 square kilometers i.e. 24.62 % of the total geographical area.
The article was last updated on 26 February 2023.
8 thoughts on “Forest cover in India (2023) – important statistics”
This article is very useful. Nicely written and good representation.
very informative post.
Thank you very much
Detailed and well-written article! Thank you!!
The whole article is very exhaustive because it is actually showing figures for diff States ,under different categories. My only concern is the authenticity and genuine ness of the Figures. I hope all the figures are, by & large, correct.
A job very well done.