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Calcutta is the capital of the state of West Bengal in India. Until Delhi was declared capital in the early twentieth century, it was the capital of British India and it was the largest city in India until its population was overtaken by that of Mumbai in the 1980s. Kolkata is the name now used in India for it.

Today Kolkata has a population of 4.5 million (city) 14.6 million (conurbation). However, it had suffered a severe blow to its prosperity in 1947 when, during the Partition of India, the larger part of the province of Bengal was allotted to the new state of Pakistan, becoming East Pakistan and later, in 1971, Bangladesh. This partition deprived the city of much of its economic hinterland.