Jamtara district is one of the twenty-four districts of Jharkhand state in eastern India. Jamtara town is the administrative headquarters of this district. The district is situated between 23°10′ and 24°05′ north latitudes and 86°30′ and 87°15′ east longitudes.

The district was carved out on 26 April 2001 by separating four blocks-Kundhit, Nala, Jamtara and Narayanpur—of the erstwhile Dumka district. Earlier, it was a sub-division. In its long history it was a part of Birbhum under the Hetampur Raj and the Bardhaman Maharaja-Dhiraj.There are a few surviving former raj families in the district. Raja of Jamtara left everlasting impression on the culture and lives of the people of Jamtara and the adjoining area.The Zamindar family of Jamjuri had influence over a major portion of Kundahit and Fatehpur blocks. There are several historical sites waiting for study and exploration. The region was disturbed during the Santal Insurrection of 1854-55 under Siddhu and Kanhu. It is said that the insurgents moved village to village and gained sympathy. Legends are that one village headman, Gopal Mandal of Madhopur,now in Fatehpur Block, faced them with great honour, when all other villagers of the vicinity fled.He offered three muns of rice to the leaders and a night feast in the village ground. Scholar and intellectual Dr. Sharat Kumar Mandal is his grandson’s grandson. Siddhu was captured at Ghatiyari, Narayanpur, now in this district. After the insurgence, a separate Santal Pargana district was created. Prior to the formation of Bihar, it was a part of Bengal. The people of this area speak Maithili and Hindi, but Santali is the language of tribals. Bengali is also widely spoken

In 2006 the Indian government named Jamtara one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).It is one of the 21 districts in Jharkhand currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).

According to the 2011 census Jamtara district has a population of 790,207, roughly equal to the nation of Comoros or the US state of South Dakota.This gives it a ranking of 486th in India (out of a total of 640).The district has a population density of 439 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,140/sq mi).Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 21%.Jamtara has a sex ratio of 959 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 63.73%.