According to the 2011 census Balaghat District has a population of 1,701,156, roughly equal to the nation of The Gambia or the US state of Nebraska.This gives it a ranking of 288th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 184 inhabitants per square kilometre (480/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–11 was 13.56%. Balaghat has a sex ratio of 1021 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 78.29%.

As per the 2001 Census, the total population of the district is 1,497,968, of which 1,236,083 is rural population and 129,787 is urban. Out of the total population, 113,105 are Scheduled Caste and 298,665 are Scheduled Tribes. The no. of males was 682,260 and the no. of females was 683,610. According to the District website the total area of the district is 9245 km², making the population density 162 persons per km².

In the 1991 Census, the total population of the district was 1,365,870.