It is the administrative headquarters of the eponymous Belgaum division and Belgaum district. The Government of Karnataka has proposed making Belgaum the second capital of Karnataka. Belgaum has been selected in first phase out of 20 cities, as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.
According to 2011 Census of India, 84% of the population are Hindu, 12.9% are Muslim, 1.9% are Christian, 0.7% are Jains, 0.2% are Buddhist, <0.1% are Sikhs, and remaining belong to other religions.
Kannada played a crucial role in the creation of Karnataka: linguistic demographics played a major role in defining the new state in 1956. Tulu, Konkani and Kodava are other minor native languages that share a long history in the state. Urdu is spoken widely by the Muslim population.
Belgaum has a tropical savanna climate. It is known for its pleasant year-round climate. Belgaum is at its coldest in winter (November – February temperatures dropping to 7 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature in Karnataka state is usually recorded in Belgaum,) and it experiences almost continuous monsoon rains from June through September. Belgaum sometimes receives hail storms during April.