Dungarpur district, situated in southern hilly part of Rajasthan, is the smallest district of the state in area occupying 3770 sq. km., constituting 1.1 percent of the state area. The district was known for its dense teak forest; about 60.00 percent of its area had forest cover until 1945. The balance between the nature and the man was maintained properly which helped the people to earn their livelihood through forest products and forest based occupations, agriculture and animal husbandry. But this comfortable position has under-gone a drastic change owing to increased population, felling of forest trees by the Government for earning revenue causing serious damage to the forest. Consequently, the forest area of this land completely degraded. Now there are barren hills, hillocks and strips of area in between them without plantation. The area is completely open to all adversities of ecological imbalance.
The predominance of tribal people is conspicuous tariff of the district. The percentage of ST population as per 1991 census is 65.84 while percentage of SC is 4.61. The percentage of general caste is low but they are economically dominant, and controls more fertile agriculture land & trade and commerce.
Most of the tribal who are in majority in the district had gone out of employment due to degradation of forest. Their agriculture is backward and uneconomical. It is difficult to rear domestic animals due to no availability of fodder and grass in the area. incidence of poverty is very high. According to the estimates the district has 77 percent rural families are below poverty line in the district. The entire district is drought prone area.
Dungarpur has been ranked as the least developed district of Rajasthan by UNDP, in its Human Development Report in 2009.