Tamil Nadu is one of the most urbanized states of India but most of the people still live in villages. In Tamil Nadu, there is an established caste system with traditional differentiations a lot more pronounced than in many other parts of India. A large part of population is confined to the Chennai (covering industrial areas, townships and the surrounding villages) and those around Madurai, Tiruchchirappall and Coimbatore. About 80 percent of the people in Tamil Nadu follow Hinduism. A substantial percentage of population in Tamil Nadu follows Christianity and Islam.
Brahmins form the highest caste in the social hierarchy of Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, their work used to be confined to religious activities and astrological professions and they were dependent on villages gifted to them by rulers. Communities such as Vellalas (known as Gounders in Coimbatore, Mudaliars in Chingleput and other areas, Pillais in Thirunelveli district) are mainly involved in agriculture. The Village traders such as Komutti Chettiars belong to Vaishya communities. Shaanaars are an affluent mercantile community in Tamil society. Untouchables form the majority of agricultural laborers.