Tripura’s gross state domestic product for 2010–11 was 12947 crore at constant price (2004–05), recording 5.71 per cent growth over the previous year. In the same period, the GDP of India was 4877842 crore, with a growth rate of 8.55 per cent. Annual per capita income at current price of the state was 38493, compared to the national per capita income 44345.
In 2009, the tertiary sector of the economy was the largest contributor to the gross domestic product of the state, contributing 53.98 per cent of the state’s economy compared to 23.07 per cent from the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, mining) and 22.95 per cent from the secondary sector. According to the Economic Census of 2005, after agriculture, the maximum number of workers were engaged in retail trade (28.21 per cent of total non-agricultural workforce), followed by manufacturing, public administration, and education.
Tripura is an agrarian state with more than half of the population dependent on agriculture and allied activities. However, due to hilly terrain and forest cover, only 27 per cent of the land is available for cultivation. Rice, the major crop of the state, is cultivated in 91 per cent of the cropped area. According to the Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Government of Tripura, in 2009–10, potato, sugarcane, mesta, pulses and jute were the other major crops cultivated in the state. Jackfruit and pineapple top the list of horticultural products. Traditionally, most of the indigenous population practised jhum method (a type of slash-and-burn) of cultivation. The number of people dependent on jhum has declined over the years.
The Planning Commission estimates the poverty rate of all North East Indian states by using head count ratio of Assam (the largest state in North East India). According to 2001 Planning Commission assessment, 22 per cent of Tripura’s rural residents were below the poverty line. However, Tripura government’s independent assessment, based on consumption distribution data, reported that, as of 2001, 55 per cent of the rural population was below the poverty line. Geographic isolation and communication bottleneck coupled with insufficient infrastructure have restricted economic growth of the state. High rate of poverty and unemployment continues to be prevalent.