Bihar, one of the ancient cultural capitals of the India, is the third most populous state in the country and home to the Ganges, which flows across the length of the state. 60% of Bihar's population is under the age of 25.
Bihar was well known in the ancient world for its cultural dominance, through the Mauryan and Pataliputra (now Patna) eras. The world’s first international universities, Nalanda and Vikramshila, were born here. In the post independence era, Bihar lagged behind the other states on economic development, but is now quickly playing catch-up. It is currently the fastest growing state in India, at 11.95% annual growth in GDP.
The service sector in Bihar now accounts for almost 73% of GDP, while the agriculture industry, although having access to one of the most fertile areas of the world largely along the Gangetic plains, accounts for a more modest 22% - a problem that has foxed many administrators. The largest proportion of the service sector is comprised of domestic activity through small businesses. Large industries are only recently starting to take more of the lime-light. Breweries, mines, refineries, and processed foods are the main sectors that have been identified for explosive growth in the state.
Tourism in the state centers around the historical monuments spread across its landscape, including the ancient sites of Nalanda University and the Mahabodhi Temple.