Trends and Patterns of India’s Urbanisation: A Demographic Assessment

Ram B. Bhagat, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Soumya Mohanty, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

As India has embarked upon economic reforms during the 1990s, the recently published 2001 census data provides an opportunity to study the urbanisation with reference to regional inequality and the contribution of the components of urban growth namely: natural increase, emergence of new towns and net contribution of rural to urban migration. India has about 5000 cities/towns which comprise 28 per cent of 1028 million population in 2001. However, about two-fifth of urban population live in only 35 metropolitan cities. On the other hand, the rate of urbanisation has slowed down recently despite higher growth in GDP(above 6 per cent). Further, the 1990s shows increased rate of rural to urban migration, but significant decline in urban natural increase. However, the picture is varied at the provincial level. The strategy of new economic policy of loosening the government control and encouraging private investment seem to have benefited the better off provinces selectively.

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Presented in Session 86: Urbanization Processes