Historically, many territories of the North Goa such as Pernem, Bicholim, and Sattari were once the part Kingdom of Sawantwadi. Thus, these regions were like safe heaven for the Hindus since these were far away from the fear of the Portuguese Inquisition. But these territories were captured by Portuguese as a part of New Conquest in the late 18th centuries. Then these territories remained in the hands of the Portuguese until the year 1961 when it was annexed by India. After that Goa and its two other former Portuguese enclaves became the union territory of Goa. In 1965, Daman and Diu and Goa was organized into a single district. Goa was emerged as a separate district in the year 1965. On 30th May 1987, Goa attained its statehood while Daman and Diu remained as a union territory. Goa was reorganised into two districts namely North Goa and South Goa. Goa was controlled by the Portuguese for a long period of time i.e. from the late 18th century to the mid 20th century.
Cliffton Gonsalves, a well known striker of the Goan football team who played for Dempo S.C. in the I-League was born in the district. Kesarbai Kerkar was an Indian classical vocalist belongs to the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. She was rewarded with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1953 and the prestigious, Padma Bhushan in 1969. Sudesh Lotlikar is an Indian poet of Marathi and Konkani language and producer/director of documentary films from Goa. He was awarded with Sahitya Akademi, Kala Academy and Padma Shri.
Geographically, the district is encompassed by a total area of 1,736 sq km. and occupies the rank 2nd in State and 522nd in India on the bases of this size. It lies at 15°51'N latitude, 73°89'E longitude and 1167 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 53.74% forest area of total geographical area. It is bounded by Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra state in the North and Belgaum district of Karnataka in the East, South Goa District in the South and the Arabian Sea in the West. The climate of the district remains hot and humid for most of the year as it is located in the tropical zone. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 4687.0 mm in the year of 2019-20.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 sub-districts namely Tiswadi (Panaji), Bardez (Mapusa), Pernem, Bicholim, Sattari (Valpoi) and Ponda. Moreover, it comprises 47 towns and 194 villages. Konkani is the administrative language of the district. The district came into existence on 30th May, 1987 with its administrative headquarters located at Panaji.
Demographically, according to the 2011 census, the district has a total number of 1,79,085 households with a total population of 8,18,008 comprising 4,16,677 are males and 4,01,331 are females which causing it to rank 1st in the state and 480th in India. The density of population of the district is 471 (persons per sq km.). The sex ratio is pegged at 963 (females per 1000 males) whereas the child ratio stands at 939 (females per 1000 males). The population growth rate in the district during the period 2001-2011 was 7.84% including 7.25% were males and 8.45% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Christian with 76.06% and 16.40% of the total population. According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Konkani and Marathi with 65.86% and 14.36%. In the year 2018 the number of live births in the district was 10,626 out of which 5,502 were males and 5,122 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 7,877 out of which 4,847 were males and 3,029 were females.
Economically, agriculture, tourism and mining are the main source of income for the people of the district. The district is rich in minerals resources such as iron ore and many others. Some of its populations are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice, paddy, maize, pulses, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. Industrially, also the district is quite well-developed. There are a number of industries in the district related to pesticides, fertilizers, tyres and tubes, iron ore pellets, foot wear, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, sugar, wheat products, steel rolling, fruits and fish canning, cashew nuts, textiles, brewery products, etc. It has also some significant handicrafts industries such as manufacture of wood, crafts, brass, pottery, handloom, leather and bamboo crafts, etc also have an important place in the economy of the district. Coconut, cashew-nut, areca nut, mango, jackfruit, banana, pineapple, etc are also grown here.
Education wise, according to 2011 census, the literacy rate in the district is 89.57% out of which 93.4% are males and 85.6% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 6,63,060 including 3,51,738 are males and 3,11,322 are female. Don Bosco High School, St. Mary's Convent High School, Vidya Vikas Academy, Dr. K.B. Hedgewar High School, Loyala High School, The One School Goa, Kid’s Kingdom International School, Rosary High School, Sharada Mandir School, Goa Vidyaprasarak Mandals Gopal Govind Poy Raiturcar College of Commerce and Economics, Goa Salesian Society's Don Bosco College, Devi Sharvani Education Society's V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, Dempo Charities Trusts S.S. Dempo College of Commerce and Economics, Dnyanprassarak Mandals College of Arts, Nirmala Institute of Education, Sou. Sheela Premanand Vaidya College of Science and V.N.S. Bandekar College of Commerce are some of the most reputed educational institutions in the district.
Narayan Srinivasa Fugro, a veteran India politician who served as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Goa, Daman and Diu from the year 1972 to 1980 was born in the district. Ramakant Khalap was a politician and a member of the 11th Lok Sabha. Michael Vincent Lobo, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is currently serving as the chairman of the North Goa Planning and Development Authority and a member of different committees in the Government of Goa.
The district has a number of famous historical and religious places which are famous not only within the country but also in the world. Some of the notable places of interest in the district are Towns (Mapusa, Pilar, Margao, Vasco-Da-Gama, Chandor (Chandar), Panaji), Beaches (Arambol Beach, Vagator, Anjuna, Calangute, Miramar, Dona Paula, Colva Beach, Agonda, Palolem), Reis Magos Church, The Church of Mae De Deus at Saligao (Bardez), Rachol Seminary, Old Goa, Safa Masjid at Ponda, Jama Masjid, Shree Bhagavati Temple at Parshem, Shree Bhagavati Temple at Parshem, Shree Gomantak Tirupati Balaji Padmavati Temple, Shree Morjee Temple of Morjim, Pleasure Island, Aguada Fort, Arvalem Caves, Arvalem Waterfalls, Dudhsagar Waterfall, Kesarval Spring, Mayem Lake, Ancestral Goa, Goa State Museum, Museum of Christian Art, Galleries at Se Cathedral St. Francis of Assisi Convent & Basilica of Bom Jesus, Galleria De Icons and the Big Foot Art Gallery & Local Handicrafts Centre. Every year, a huge number of tourists from the worldwide visit this place in order to enjoy its mesmerizing picturesque.