Forest cover in India (2021) – important statistics

The total forest cover in India is 7,12,249 square kilometers which is 21.67% of the total geographical area. India has added 3,976 sq km of forest cover from 2017 to 2019. 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%.
Forest cover in India
Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

Top 5 states/UTs with most forest cover area

  • Madhya Pradesh: 77,482 sq km
  • Arunachal Pradesh: 66,688 sq km
  • Chhattisgarh: 55,611 sq km
  • Odisha: 51,619 sq km
  • Maharashtra: 50,778 sq km

Top 5 states/UTs with most forest cover percentage (of their geographical area)

  • Lakshadweep: 90.33 %
  • Mizoram: 85.41 %
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 81.74 %
  • Arunachal Pradesh: 79.63 %
  • Meghalaya: 76.33 %

States/UTs with forest cover less than 10% of their geographical area

  • Ladakh: 1.47 %
  • Haryana: 3.62 %
  • Punjab: 3.67 %
  • Rajasthan: 4.86 %
  • Uttar Pradesh: 6.15 %
  • Gujarat: 7.57 %
  • Bihar: 7.76 %

States/UTs with considerable forest cover increase from 2017 to 2019

  • Karnataka: 1,025 sq km increase in forest cover
  • Andhra Pradesh: 990 sq km increase
  • Kerala: 823 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 4,975 sq km.

Top 5 states with most mangrove forest cover in India

  • West Bengal: 2,112 sq km
  • Gujarat: 1,177 sq km
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 616 sq km
  • Andhra Pradesh: 404 sq km
  • Maharashtra: 320 sq km

North-east forest cover

The total forest cover in north-eastern states is 1,70,541 sq km which is 65.05% of the total geographical area of north-east. The north-east has lost 765 sq km of forest cover from 2017-2019.


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 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 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

State/UTForest cover (sq km)Geographical area (sq km)forest cover percentage (of geographical area)
Andhra Pradesh29,1371,62,96817.88 %
Arunachal Pradesh66,68883.74379.63 %
Assam28,32778,43836.11 %
Bihar7,30794,1637.76 %
Chhattisgarh55,6111,35,19241.13 %
Goa2,2373,70260.43 %
Gujarat14,8571,96,2447.57 %
Haryana1,60244,2123.62 %
Himachal Pradesh15,43455,67327.72 %
Jharkhand23,61179,71629.62 %
Karnataka38,5751,91,79120.11 %
Kerala21,14438,85254.42 %
Madhya Pradesh77,4823,08,25225.14 %
Maharashtra50,7783,07,71316.50 %
Manipur16,84722,32775.46 %
Meghalaya 17,11922,42976.33 %
Mizoram18,00621,08185.41 %
Nagaland12,48616,57975.31 %
Odisha51,6191,55,70733.15 %
Punjab1,84950,3623.67 %
Rajasthan16,6303,42,2394.86 %
Sikkim 3,3427,09647.10 %
Tamil Nadu26,3641,30,06020.27 %
Telangana20,5821,12,07718.36 %
Tripura7,72610,48673.68 %
Uttar Pradesh14,8062,40,9286.15 %
Uttarakhand24,30353,48345.44 %
West Bengal16,90288,75219.04 %
Andaman and Nicobar Islands6,7438,24981.74 %
Chandigarh22.0311419.32 %
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu227.4960237.79 %
Delhi195.441,48313.18 %
Jammu and Kashmir21,12253,25839.66 %
Lakshadweep27.103090.33 %
Ladakh2,4901,69,4211.47 %
Puducherry52.4149010.70 %

The stats provided in this article are as per 2019 India state of forest report.

The article was last updated on 30 June 2020.

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