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Indian Geography / Settlements in India

Urbanization in India


    Urbanisation in India is happening at faster pace because of health, education, jobs and availability of other basic amenities at urban locations. As per 2011 Census, the urban population as a percentage of total population is 31.16% and there are 7,935 towns in India.

    • There are generally two types of urban settlements, Statutory towns and Census towns. Census commission determines this status. Statutory towns are the settlements having the status of a Cantonment Board / Notified Area Committee / Municipal corporation / Municipality, under any law / statute of central, state or Local government. If a town satisfies the following three conditions, then it is regarded as Census town, (i) Population having at least 5000 persons, (ii) Population density having more than 400 persons / sq.km. and (iii) More than 75% male working people engaged in non-agricultural activities. All statutory towns need not be census towns and all census towns need not be statutory towns.
    • In Union territories, Delhi occupies top position in urban population having 97.5% of total population. Delhi is followed by Chandigarh having urban population of 97.25%, Daman and Diu has urban population of 75.2% and Puducherry has 68.3%.
    • Among the states, Goa remains the most urbanized state and it is having a 62.2% of urban population. Goa is followed by Tamil Nadu having urban population of 48.45%. Kerala follows next with 47.72% and then Maharashtra having urban population of 45.23%. Southern and Western parts of India are more urbanized when compared to other parts.
    • The percentage of urban population remains lowest in Himachal Pradesh having 10% of total population, followed by Bihar having 11.3%. Assam comes next having 14.1% of urban population followed by Odisha having urban population of 16.7%.
    • Based on population size, urban agglomerations can be represented with six-fold classification, namely (i) Class I city / town ( having population of more than 1 lakh ), (ii) Class II ( 50,000 - 1 lakh ), (iii) Class III ( 20,000 – 50,000 ), (iv) Class IV ( 10,000 – 20,000 ), (v) Class V ( 5,000 – 10,000 ) and (vi) Class VI ( having population of less than 5,000 ).
    • Class I towns having more than one million population are called metropolis or million plus cities. According to 2011 Census, there are 53 number of million plus urban agglomerations in India. There are 6 Mega cities in India, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. These cities account for more than 20% of urban population.
    • Out of the 53 million plus urban agglomerations, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala have 7 cities each, Maharashtra has 6, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have 4 each, Rajasthan and Jharkhand have 3 each, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have 2 each, Telangana, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Bihar, Haryana, NCT Delhi and Karnataka have 1 each.
    • Slums of India - A slum is a Notified, Recognized or Identified area where people live in dilapidated housing conditions and lack in basic amenities. Slums are the characteristic feature of third world countries. It remains a major urban problem. Slum information was gathered across the country for the first time in the Census 2001. According to the 2011 Census, Maharashtra retains the highest slum population and Andaman and Nicobar Islands has least slum population.