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 18 October 2023.