The district headquarters are located at Alpuri. It was previously a subdivision of Swat District, but was upgraded to the status of a district on July 10, 1995. The total area of the district is 1,586 square kilometres.
Shangla comprises two sub division, Alpuri and Puran Tehsil.Shangla has the lowest Human Development Index in the province and second lowest in the country, According to the 2017 census, the district had a population of 757,810 with population density of 480 persons per square kilometre.There are relics of the ancient Greek period at Pirsar, Chakesar and Daut. it is believed that Alexander the Great camped at Pirsar for a few days. There are also relics of the Hindu Shahi in Olandar-Ajmair.