Noakhali Sadar Upazila (Noakhali district) with an area of 1071.66 sq km, is surrounded by Begumganj and Senbagh upazilas on the north, Hatiya upazila on the south, Companiganj (Noakhali) and Sandwip upazilas on the east and Ramgati and Laksmipur Sadar upazilas on the west.
Meghna Sadar and Sandwip Channel are noted; forestry 103.71 sq km.
Noakhali (Town) Noakhali Sadar upazila town (Maijdi) consists of 9 wards and 36 mahallas. It has an area of 12.61 sq km. The town has a population of 74585; male 51.50%, female 48.50%; population density per sq km 5915. Literacy rate among the town people is 60.7%.
The ancient name of Noakhali Sadar was Sudharam. In 1948 when the Upazila headquarters were extinct by the erosion of the Meghna River, it was shifted 8 km to the north to its present place at Maijdi. The town has five dakbungalows.
Administration Noakhali Sadar thana was established in 1861 and was turned into an upazila in 1983. The upazila consists of two municipalities, 18 wards, 47 mahallas, 21 union parishads, 315 mouzas and 287 villages.
Historical events Devastating tornado and tidal bore took lives of about 10 lakh people in 1970 in the coastal area. During the War of liberation about 70 freedom fighters were killed in a direct encounter with the Pak army on 15 June 1971 in front of Sonapur Ahmadia School. Noakhali was liberated on 7 December 1971.
Marks of the War of Liberation Roads named after martyr freedom fighters (Shaheed Nur Mohammad Road, Shaheed Major Mesbahuddin Road and Shaheed Jasimuddin Road).
Population 651171; male 50.22%, female 49.78%; Muslim 94.18%, Hindu 5.59% and others 0.23%; population density per sq km 608.
Religious institutions Mosque 655, temple 4, church 1, tomb 2 and crematory 1, most noted of which is Noakhali Zila Jami Mosque, Khalil Bhuiyan Masque, Kabir Patwari Jami Mosque, Shree Shree Ram Thakur Mandir.
Literacy and educational institutions Average literacy 30.2%; male 36.5% and female 24%.
Educational institutions: government college 3, non-government college 7, primary training institute 1, high school 48, madrasa 31, maktab 99, primary school 183. Noted educational institutions: Noakhali Zila School (1853), Arun Chandra High School (1914), Brother Andre High School (1857), Ahamadia Model High School (1906), Paura Kalyan High School (1940), Kabir Hat High School (1938), Noakhali Government Girl's High School (1934), Noakhali College (1963).
Locally published newspapers and periodicals Abayab, Weekly Jatiyo Bangladesh, Noakhali Barta, Ajker Upama; extinct: Noakhali Hitoishi (1922), Tanjin (1926), Desher Bani (1927), Chholtan (1924), Tripura Noakhali Lakkhi (1342 BS), Upakul Barta, Nayabarta.
Cultural organisations Club 5, cinema hall 2, public library 1, town hall 1, most noted of which is Noakhali Public Library (1895).
Main occupations Agriculture 37.02%, agricultural labourer 18.08%, wage labourer 3.21%, commerce 10.53%, service 14.81%, transport 2.32%, fishing 1.04% and others 12.99%.
Land use Total cultivable land 674497.37 hectares; fallow land 13066.3 hectares; single crop land 46.2%, double crop 43.1% and treble crop land 10.7%.
Land control Among the peasants, 22% are landless, 25% marginal, 32% small, 16% intermediate and 5% rich; cultivable land per head 0.16 hectare.
Value of land The market value of the land of the first grade is Tk. 7000 per 0.01 hectare.
Main crops Paddy, soybean, peanut, varieties of pulses, vegetables. Extinct or nearly extinct crops Linseed, sesame, jute.
Main fruits Mango, jackfruit, papaya, coconut, banana, litchi, betel nut. Fisheries and poultries Poultry 64, hatchery 14.
Communication facilities Roads: pucca 120 km, semi pucca 100 km and mud road 500 km; waterways 30 nautical mile, ferry ghat 1; railways 6.8 km; rail station 3.
Traditional transport Palanquin, horse carriage, bullock cart and buffalo cart. These means of transport are either extinct or nearly extinct.
Manufactories Rice mill, flour mill, oil mill, bread and biscuit factory, ice factory, welding, etc.
Cottage industries Weaving, bamboo and cane work, goldsmith, blacksmith, potteries, wood works, brass work, tailoring, mat work.
Hats, bazars and fairs Total number of hats and bazars are 53, most noted of which are Sonapur, Datter Hat, Maijdi Bazar, Khaser Hat, Kala Munshir Hat, etc; fair 3.
Main exports Paddy, coconut, betel nut, mat, dry fish.
NGO activities Operationally important NGOs are Brac, Proshika, ASA, CARE, the Hunger Project, Danida, Nijera Kari.
Health centres Modern hospital 1, TB clinic 1, private hospital 4, private clinic 6, municipal health centre 1, family welfare centre 18, satellite clinic 5.