ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Unequal Process of Urbanisation

Urbanisation in India has reportedly accelerated over the last decade, with a sharp rise in the number of towns and peri-urban areas. Cities, on the other hand, are believed to have become “exclusionary,” with in-migration remaining stagnant. This study uses primary census data since 1991 to question the hypothesis of exclusionary cities and argues that the larger towns and cities have grown uninterrupted, whereas smaller- and medium-sized towns have been slow to graduate to higher size classes.

This article is based on the author’s Master’s thesis, completed under the supervision of R Nagaraj at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai. The author would like to thank him for his valuable guidance and comments on various aspects of this article.

1 Introduction

The 2011 population census states that 31.2% of India’s population is urban—up from 27.8% in 2001, and 25.7% in 1991. The accelerated rate of urbanisation in the last decade, compared to the 1990s when the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) rose to over 7% per annum, is widely applauded as a positive sign of development. The rise in urbanisation has been on account of the unanticipated addition of 2,774 new census towns between 2001 and 2011 (Figure 1).

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Updated On : 3rd Mar, 2017
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