The natives of Thane belong to Agri and Koli communities who still inhabit the villages scattered in and around the Thane District. They have retained their culture and heritage over the centuries and protected it from the heavy torrents of modernization. During the Portuguese and British Rule over India, Thane was also occupied by Portuguese, English and local (converted) Roman Catholics. Even today some of the families of the Khatri Ward in Thane speak Portuguese. Presently Thane exhibits a mixture of predominant Maharashtrian Culture and the multi colored cosmopolitan culture. Thane has accommodated a multitude of immigrants arrived here from Mumbai, different parts of Maharashtra as well as country. Next to its Marathi population, Thane houses a large number of North Indians, Gujaratis, Marwaris, Sindhis, South Indians and other communities from all over the country.
The economy of Thane has undergone a gradual transition from being a tiny agricultural hub to a thriving industrial axis. With the speedy development of various service sectors, IT parks, and other textile, engineering, chemical, software and electronic industries, Thane has today become the third most industrialized district in the State. The Thane District boasts of its nearly 1548 large and medium scale and about 18,480 small scale industries. Thane industries handle the manufacturing and export of Drugs, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Iron & Steel, Plastic, Rubber, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Electronics and Engineering goods. Agriculture, fishery and wood products also contribute to the economy of Thane.
All the traditional festivals of Indian Culture including Gudhi Padwa, Ram Navami, Gokulashtami, Wat Purnima, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Durga Puja, Diwali, Shivaji Jayanti, Mahashivratri, Rang Panchami, Maharashtra Day, etc. and Idd festivals of Islam and Christmas of Christianity are celebrated in Thane with tremendous pomp, zest and enthusiasm. Dahi Handi is celebrated with ultimate gusto when millions of rupees are awarded to the winners. The biggest Dahi Handis of Thane are organized at Panchpakhdi, Open House, Tembhi Naka, Jambli Naka and Vartak Nagar. The Gadkari Rangaytan Auditorium of Thane is particularly famous for hosting various cultural festivals all round the year.