It is the largest district of Andhra Pradesh spanning an area of 19,130 square kilometers (7,390 sq. mi), comparatively equivalent to Japan's Shikoku Island. It is bounded on the north by Kurnool District, on the east by Kadapa District, on the southeast by Chittoor District, and on the southwest and west by Karnataka state.  It is part of Rayalaseema region on the state. Its northern and central portions are a high plateau, generally undulating, with large granite rocks or low hill ranges rising occasionally above its surface. In the southern portion of the district the surface is more hilly, the plateau there rising to 2,000 ft (610 m). above the sea. Six rivers flow within the district: Penna, Chithravathi, Vedavathi, Papagni, Swarnamukhi, and Thadakaleru. The district receives an average annual rainfall of 381 millimeters.
Anantapur city is 354 km from Hyderabad, 200 km from the neighboring state capital of Bangalore. Anantapur connects Hyderabad and Bangalore through National Highway 7. There is an airport in the district located in Puttaparthi, known as Sri Sathya Sai Airport; however this airport currently has no scheduled service. Bangalore International Airport is nearest commercial airport to Anantapur District.
Industries like Constructions, Manufactures and Electricity are major contributors for GVA. Anantapur has a major potential for development of industry due to its strategic location between Bangalore – Chennai and Bangalore – Hyderabad routes and availability of vast tracts of land.
The economy is principally agrarian with a developing industrial sector. Anantapur receives very less rainfall due to its location in the rain shadow area of Indian Peninsula. Prominent crops include groundnut, sunflower, rice, cotton, maize, chilies, sesame, and sugarcane. Silk trade, limestone quarrying, iron and diamond mining. Anantapur town is known as Groundnut City in reference to the neighboring Bangalore being called as Garden City.
Andhra Pradesh Aerospace & Defense Electronics Park (AP-ADE) is strategically located in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh which is designated as Aerospace & Defense Zone by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. AP-ADE Park is at an hour’s drive from Bangalore International Airport, abutting NH7 that runs between Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Anantapur is likely to emerge as future hub for Defense research and manufacturing in India. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a leading defense PSU is setting up a manufacturing unit on 900 acres of land, diagonally opposite to AP-ADE Park. Other than this a number of private companies are also looking at Anantapur to setup their manufacturing units.
Andhra Pradesh has attracted one of the largest FDI investments in recent years — $2 billion or Rs 13,500 crore from Kia Motors, along with its subsidiaries and ancillaries, to set up an ultra- mega integrated automobile project in Anantapur district.