Urban population grows faster than rural in 2001-11 period

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 15, 2011


Delhi is the most urbanised State, followed by TN, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat

For the first time since Independence, India's urban population has registered a higher increase than the numbers added in rural areas.

The second set of data from the 2011 Census released here on Friday shows that the country's urban population grew by 90.99 million during 2001 to 2011.

This is more than the absolute increase of 90.47 million in the rural population over this period.

In percentage terms, the urban population grew by 31.8 per cent, which was 2.6 times the corresponding decadal rise of 12.18 per cent for the rural population.

The 12.18 per cent rural population growth during 2001-2011 represents a sharp dip from the 18.09 per cent increase over 1991-2001, whereas the growth rate for the urban population has seen a marginal rise from 31.47 per cent to 31.8 per cent over these two periods.

All this suggests a rapid process of urbanisation taking place, as economic activity and job creation becomes increasingly urban-focussed.

According to the Census data, out of the country's total population of 1,210.19 million in 2011, 377.11 million or 31.16 per cent is living in urban areas. In 2001, the share of the urban population was 27.82 per cent (286.12 million out of 1,028.61 million).

The Census figures also show Delhi to be the most urbanised State in India, with an urban population share of 97.5 per cent.

Next to Delhi – which is basically a metro city – the State having the highest share of its population living in urban areas is Tamil Nadu, at 48.45 per cent.

Others with urbanisation levels exceeding 40 per cent are Kerala (47.72 per cent), Maharashtra (45.23 per cent) and Gujarat (42.58 per cent).

Published on July 15, 2011

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