Central Provinces, one of the eight large administrative departments into which British India was in 187- divided, situated between lat. 18° and 24° N., and lon. 77° and 83° E. They were formed into a chief commissioner-ship by royal decree of Nov. 2, 1861. At first they consisted of the province of Nagpore and its dependencies, and the districts of Saugor and Nerbudda; were enlarged in 1802 by the annexation of Sumbulpore and its dependencies; and in 1872 contained an area of 112,561 sq. m., of which 84,162 were immediate British possessions, while the remainder belonged to 15 native states. According to an official report presented to parliamentin 1870 ("Statement exhibiting the Moral and .Material Progress of India during the years 1868 and 1869," London, 1871), the population of the British possessions was 9,068,10.3, and that of the native states about 1,100,000. In 1800 there were in the provinces, according to an official enumeration, 6,064,770 Hindoos, 1,905,663 Gonds and aboriginal tribes, 237,902 Mussulmans, and 0,020 Europeans. Of the inhabitants 57 per cent. were engaged in agriculture. The British portion is divided into four com-missionerships (Nagpore, Jubbulpore, Nerbud-da, and Chutteesgurh) and 19 districts.
The line of railroad which connects Calcutta and Bombay passes through these provinces, and has greatly contributed to their rapid progress. Numerous roads have of late been made, the number of schools has more than doubled since the organization of the chief commissionership, and the capital, Jubbulpore, has now a larger traffic passing through it than any other city of India except Bombay. The chief product is cotton, of which 053,517 lbs. were exported in 1808. The revenue of the Central Provinces amounted in 1870-'71 to £1,130,000, and the expenditures to £805,228. The largest cities are Nagpore, Jubbulpore, and Saugor.