The word Rangiya derived from Indic word rang (colour), meaning colourful.
In Ancient times it was part of Ancient Kamrup, and subsequently included in Kamapitha division of Kamarupa Kingdom. In modern times, Rangiya is part of Kamrupi cultural region.
Rangiya is located at 26.47°N 91.63°E / 26.47; 91.63. It has an average elevation of 39 metres (128 feet). The river Borolia flows through the heart of the city.
As of 2011 India census, Rangiya had a population of 26,389. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Rangiya has an average literacy rate of 73%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 67%. In Rangiya, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
There are several educational institutes in Rangiya. Some of them are Jawaharlal Nehru Shishu Vidyalaya (Estd. 1964), Modern English School (Estd. 1993), Third Eye Computer Education Centre (Estd. 2008), Sankardev Academy Junior college, Pragmetic Academy, Faculty Academy, Symbiosis Academy, Rangia College (Estd.1964), Manabendra Sarma Girls College, Rangiya Arabic College, Rangiya Teachers Training College, Rangia Higher Secondary School (Estd. 1936), Rangiya Girls' H.S. School, Rangiya High Madrasa & H.S. School, Arimatta Vidyapith H.S. School, Rangia Hindi High School, Railway High School (Bengali Medium), (Estd.1950), Shankardev Shishu Niketan (Estd. 1987), Ambedkar Lotus English School (Estd. 1984), Kendriya Vidyalaya NFR Rangia, SERS Public School Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Rangiya Law College and Sankaracharya Vidya Niketan, Red Horns Public School (Estd.1988).The level of educational awareness in this area is high.
Rangiya is important transit point in the region, nearly all trains halts at Rangiya railway station. It is junction station on the New Bongaigaon-Guwahati section of Barauni-Guwahati line. It is one of the divisional headquarters of Northeast Frontier Railways. The Rangiya-Murkongselek line connects the state to Arunachal Pradesh