Udupi had a population of 11,77,908 Males constituted 49% of the population and females 51%. The average literacy rate was 83%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; male literacy was 86% and female literacy 81%. Eight percent of the population was under 6 years of age.
Udupi, which previously had a Town Municipal Council now has a City Municipal Council which came into existence in 1995. Areas around Udupi, such as Manipal, Malpe and Santhekatte were merged to form the City Municipal Council.
The Udupi Urban Development Authority (UUDA) is responsible for town planning and other related development activities in Udupi and the surrounding areas.
Udupi was carved out as a separate district from the erstwhile Dakshina Kannada district on 25 August 1997. Udupi, Kundapura and Karkala were bifurcated from the Dakshina Kannada District and the Udupi District was formed.