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Census shows India urbanising faster

Published on 20 Jul. 2011 11:48 PM IST
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Experts differ on why and on what this means; want data on migration, development parameters.
More of the countryside is turning into towns and more village folk are moving to cities. The tempo of urbanisation has picked up to a three-decade high, say demographers on the 2011 census data on urbanisation released recently.
The data reveals a jump which is close to the highest-ever increase in urbanisation that took place between 1971 and 1981, says P M Kulkarni, demographer, with Jawaharlal Nehru University here. Urbanisation went up 3.35 points over the past 10 years; there was a similar leap of 3.43 points in 1971-81, says Kulkarni.
The census document itself attributes the upward trend in urbanisation to “the sharp decline in growth rate in rural areas, while the growth rate in urban areas remains about the same”.
Census towns are rural areas reclassified as towns by the census on the basis of their satisfying certain factors, such as a population of at least 5,000 and over 75% engaging in non-agricultural activities, says Kulkarni.
In the latest data, while statutory towns or those which are officially towns with municipalities, etc, have increased from 3,799 in the previous census to 4,041a rise of only 242 such places, the number of census towns went up from 1,362 in 2001 to 3,894 in this census.

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