Urbanisation in India

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Urbanisation in India 

  • The level of urbanisation is measured in terms of percentage of urban population to total population. In 2011, India's urbanisation rate was 31.16%, which is quite low in comparison to developed countries. At the same time, the urban population is growing, and the expansion of urban centres and the emergence of new towns has played a significant role in the country's urban population growth and urbanisation.
  • In India, urbanisation has been more prevalent in the south than in the north. Goa is the most urbanised state, with 62% of the population living in cities. More than 80% of Delhi is urban. Urbanization is more in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Kerala. Some of the states with low levels of urbanisation are Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and Rajasthan.


Urbanization: Urbanization refers to the population shift from rural to urban areas, the corresponding decrease in the proportion of people living in rural areas, and the ways in which societies adapt to this change. It is predominantly the process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more people begin living and working in central areas.



Do you know? 

The Indian sub-continent has a long history since ancient times. Since ages, of the population of this country is living in river basins, on plateaus and mountains. Indraprastha (Delhi), Mithila, Varanasi, Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Ujjain and Pratishthan (Paithan) were the urban settlements of earlier times. This shows that India has a great tradition of urbanisation.


Read the graph given below and answer the following questions:

India-trend of urbanisation (1961-2011)

  1. What was the percentage of urbanisation in 1961? 
  2. In which decade was urbanisation the highest?
  3. In which decade was the growth of urbanisation lowest?
  4. What inference can you draw regarding India’s urbanisation after reading the graph?
  1. The percentage of urbanisation in 1961 was 18%.
  2. Highest urbanisation took place in the decade 1971 -1981.
  3. The growth of urbanisation was lowest in the decade 1961-1971.
  4. After reading the graph, we can say that urbanisation in India is slowly but continuously rising.


Prepare a choropleth map showing the urban population using the data given in the table below.

S.NO Urban population percentage category States /UTs falling in the category
1. 0-20 Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Odisha
2. 21-40 Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, A & N Islands, Punjab, Karnataka
3. 41-60 Gujarat, Maharashtra, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram
4. 61-80 Goa, Puducherry, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep
5. 81-100 Chandigarh, NCT of Delhi

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