Urban shift

Print edition : February 02, 2018
The rapid pace of urbanisation in recent times is projected to continue in the coming years, throwing up significant challenges for policy makers.

India’s urban population, numbering about 377 million or 31 per cent of its population as per Census 2011, is projected to grow to about 600 million (40 per cent) by 2031 and 850 million (50 per cent) by 2051, according to a forecast by the Ministry of Urban Development.

The Ministry’s Handbook of Urban Statistics 2016 points to the need for effective and efficient policy making to meet challenges such as demand for basic services, infrastructure, jobs, and affordable housing.

A separate report by the management consulting firm McKinsey estimates that by 2030, the key States of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka and Punjab will see more than 50 per cent of the population living in cities.

Cities will also dominate the States’ gross domestic product in several key States.

As of 2011, Tamil Nadu had the highest number of statutory towns in the country (721), followed by Uttar Pradesh (648), Madhya Pradesh (364), Maharashtra (255) and Karnataka (220). A statutory town is defined as any place with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee.

Between 2001 and 2011, Kerala saw the highest growth in urban population, which grew a whopping 92.3 per cent from 82.67 lakh to 1.59 crore. It was followed by Jammu and Kashmir (36.4 per cent) and Bihar and Gujarat (35.9 per cent). The growth for the entire country was 31.8 per cent from 28.61 crore to 37.71 crore.

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