As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 73,958 and a population density of 662 persons per km². Marugame occupies the center of an alluvial plain. The total area is 111.79 km².
The economy produces chemicals, textiles, fans, salt, rice and barley. In the early 1980s, large coastal salt fields were reclaimed from the sea to stimulate further economic development. The city's importance as a port for pilgrims coming from the Kyōto and Ōsaka areas to worship at the Kompira Shrine in Kotohira (from the Tokugawa period to the early Meiji period) declined with the opening of the railway between Matsuyama and Takamatsu in 1889 and more recently with the development of bus and air service linking Kotohira with major cities.