The district has in recent decades been divided into three smaller districts, being East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela Kharsawan. All the three are currently part of Jharkhand state of India. The major Indian languages spoken in this region are Bengali, Kurmali and other tribal languages.
The literal meaning of Singhbhum or Singhbhumi is Land of lions: Singh in Bengali means lion and Bhum or Bhumi indicates land. This appears to be apt as more than 50% area of the district is covered by dense forests and mountains, where wild animals once roamed freely. However, the lion is not found in these forests any more.
Singhbhum is known for its iron ore deposits and it provides for the iron ore requirements of the IISCO steel plants located at Hirapur, Kulti and Burnpur.