The state is inhabited by 16 major tribes - Ao, Angami, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sumi, Chakhesang, Khiamniungan, Bodo-Kachari, Phom, Rengma, Sangtam, Yimchunger, Thadou, Zeme-Liangmai (Zeliang) and Pochury as well as a number of sub-tribes. Each tribe is unique in character with its own distinct customs, language and dress. Two threads common to all, are language and religion - English is in predominant use and Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is predominantly Christian.
Nagaland became the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963. Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes, and fibers. Other significant economic activity includes forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries. The state has experienced insurgency as well as inter-ethnic conflict since the 1950s. The violence and insecurity have long limited Nagaland's economic development, because it had to commit its scarce resources on law, order and security. In the last 15 years, the state has seen less violence and annual economic growth rates nearing 10% on a compounded basis, one of the fastest in the region.
The state is mostly mountainous except those areas bordering Assam valley. Mount Saramati is the highest peak with a height of 3,840 metres and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Burma. It lies between the parallels of 98-degrees and 96-degrees east longitude and 26.6-degrees and 27.4-degrees latitude north of the equator. The state is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna; it has been suggested as the "falcon capital of the world".