Kerala is located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was formed on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions.
The state has an area of 38,863 Sq Km (15,005 sq mi) and is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Arabian Sea on the west. Thiruvananthapuram is the state capital. Kochi and Kozhikode are other major cities. According to a survey by The Economic Times, five out of ten best cities to live in India are located in Kerala. Kerala is a popular destination for its backwaters, beaches, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery.
Kerala has the highest Human Development Index in India, higher than that of most developed countries The state has the highest literacy rate in India with 93.91 percent. It hopes to be the first e-literate state in India through the state run Akshaya project. The state recently became and is currently the only one to have banking facilities in every village.
Kerala's human development indices - primary level education, health care and elimination of poverty - are among the best in India. According to a 2005–2006 national survey, Kerala has one of the highest literacy rates (94.59%) among Indian states and life expectancy (74 years) was among the highest in India in 2011. Kerala's rural poverty rate fell from 69% (1970–1971) to 19% (1993–1994); the overall (urban and rural) rate fell 36% between the 1970s and 1980s. By 1999–2000, the rural and urban poverty rates dropped to 10.0% and 9.6% respectively. These changes stem largely from efforts begun in the late 19th century by the kingdoms of Cochin and Travancore to boost social welfare. This focus was maintained by Kerala's post-independence government.
With several reputed universities and technical institutions like engineering colleges, institutes for information technology and management, research institutions, etc, Kerala has the densest cluster of Science & Technology personnel in the country.
The large pool of educated and skilled human resource has substantial exposure to the best practices of global business requirements thereby providing the state with the right platform for social and economic growth.
Kerala is an established tourist destination for both Indians and non-Indians alike. Kerala is popular for its beaches, backwaters, mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries. The city of Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala. Some of the other popular tourist destinations are the beaches at Kovalam, Varkala, Cherai, backwaters at Alappuzha and Kumarakom, hill stations in Munnar, Wayanad, Nelliampathi, Vagamon, and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as Periyar and Eravikulam National Park. Tourism plays an important role in the state's economy.