Historically, Anugul is called the land of tribals. Gonds, Kandhas, Sabaras. Angul are the main tribe here. Feudal system was available here in ancient time. The name Anugol was derived from the word ‘Golmala’ which meant war in local language. The Name was occurred due to the war between feudal named ‘Anu’ and the King. Later, the name was changed to Angul. Officially the region was named as Anugul in the year 1896. During different periods of time the place was ruled by different rulers from some prominent dynasties likewise Gangas, Bhaumakaras, Somavamsis, Chodagangadedv, Chalukyas and British.
Geographically, the district has a total 6,375 sq km. area and occupies the rank 11th in State and 155th in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 20°83' N latitude, 85°10'E longitude and 195 m altitude. In the year 2019, the forest cover area was 43.65% of total geographical area. The famous river called Baitarani passes through the district. The district is enclosed by Dhenkanal and Cuttack district in the East, Deogarh, Kendujhar and Sundargarh district in North, Sambalpur and Sonepur in West and Boudh and Nayagarh in the South. The climate of the district is extremely hot in the summers and fairly cold in the winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 1335.5 mm in the year of 2019-2020.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 23 sub-districts, 18 towns and 1,871 villages. Oriya is its official language. It came into existence on 1st April, 1993 with its administrative headquarters located at Anugul which is situated at a distance of 135 kms. from the State Capital. The administrative language in the district is Hindi.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 2,95,922 households with a total population of 12,73,821 comprising 6,55,718 are males and 6,18,103 are females which leads it to rank 16th in the state and 380th in India. The density of population of the district is 200 persons per sq km. The sex ratio is pegged at 943 females per 1000 males while the child ratio stands at 889 females per 1000 males. As per 2011 census the percentage of major religions practiced by the people of this region is Hindu with 98.81% of the total population. The population growth rate during the period of 2001-2011 was 11.74% including 11.66% were males and 11.82% were females. As per 2011 census the principal language in the district is Oriya with 95.50%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 15,662 including 8,320 were males and 7,342 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 9,063 including 5,313 were males and 3,750 were females.
Economically, the district is dependent on industries primarily. The gross domestic product in the district during 2011-12 was Rs. 12,57,387 lakh at current price and Rs. 9,20,338 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2011-12 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 8,17,710 lakh at current price and Rs. 5,18,084 lakh at constant prices in the year 2004-2005. The district has several small and large scale industries. The National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), Bhusan Steels Ltd., BRG ltd. etc. are the major industries in the district. Railway also provides a good source of income to the natives. Angul and Talcher blocks in the district are more developed than Palahara and Athamalik blocks.
Education wise, according to the 2011 census, the percentage of literate persons is 77.53% including 85.98% are males and 68.64% are females. The total literate population of the district is 8,69,456 out of which 4,94,425 are males and 3,75,031 are females. The district has several educational institutes including schools and colleges. Shri Chandrasekhar (Junior) Mahavidyalaya, Sri Sri Jagannath (Junior) Mahavidyalaya, Siddhi Vinayak Science College, Binayak Science College, Sriram Dev (Junior) Mahavidyalaya, Sri Aurobindo College of +2 Sc. & Commerce, Mahima Jyoti (Junior) Sc. College, Government (Junior) College, Angul Mahila (Junior) Mahavidyalaya and Evening (Junior) College are some of the main colleges of the district.
Pyarimohan Mohapatra belongs to the Odisha Jana Morcha. He was the member of Rajya Sabha. He served as the political advisor of Naveen Patnaik. Dharmendra Pradhan is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the currently serving as the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas. He was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2012 from Bihar.
The district has various historical and religious places to visit. These places are Bhimkhand, Binikei, Derjang, Deulajhari, Khuludi, Kosala, Rengali, Talcher, Tikarpada, Budhi Thakurani, Goddess Hingula, Nalco Angul, Angul Laxmi Puja, Ravanchhaya, Talcher Ganesh Puja. In the year 2018, there were 9,85,916 domestic tourists and 2,783 foreign tourists who visited these places.
Radha Mohan Gadanayak was famous as a poet of Odiya literature. He was honored with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1975 and Padma Shri Award in 1990.