Tier Classification of Indian Cities and Fast Growing Urban Centres

According to Census of 2011 data, the towns and cities are classified as ‘Tier I’ with 100,000 and above people, ‘Tier II’ with 50,000 to 99,999 people, ‘Tier III’ with 20,000 to 49,999 people, ‘Tier IV’ with 10,000 to 19,999 people, ‘Tier V’ with 5,000 to 9,999 people and ‘Tier VI’ with less than 5,000 people.

Fast Growing Not so Big Urban Centres: New Trend

The number of cities in the world with populations greater than 1 million increased from 75 in 1950 to 447 in 2011. At the same time, the average size of the world’s 100 largest cities increased from two to 7.6 million. By 2020, it is projected that there will be 527 cities with a population of more than one million, while the average size of the world’s 100 largest cities will reach 8.5 million. However, the bulk of new urban growth is taking place beyond the world’s mega-cities, and urban centers with fewer than 500,000 people are currently home to just over 50 per cent of the total urban population. It is these second and third tier cities that face the greatest challenges in implementing effective adaptation measures due to lack of capacity, knowledge and skills in local institutions and systems, as well as being home to some of the world’s poorest inhabitants. However, it is also in these cities where the greatest potential for climate resilience exists – as these cities have yet to develop their infrastructure and growth plans, and can still choose to develop in a resilient fashion and avoid costly retrofitting measures in the future.

There are 37 Indian cities among the world’s 300 fastest growing urban centres, according to a survey conducted by the City Mayors Foundation, an global think tank on urban affairs.

Some Fast Growing Cities

Beihai in China is the fastest growing city in the world, with a population growth rate of 10.58 per cent, says the survey. Sana’a in Yemen, with a population growth rate of 5 per cent, is the world’s third fastest growing city.

Kabul in Afghanistan (4.74 per cent), Bamako in Mali (4.45 per cent), Lagos in Nigeria (4.44 per cent) are the 5th, 6th and 7th fastest growing urban centres in the world. Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (4.39 per cent) and Chittagong in Bangladesh (4.29 per cent) are the 9th and the 10th fastest growing cities in the world.

The economic boom has been a catalyst for the fast-track development across India. The nation’s development has now shifted from the big metropolitan cities to the smaller cities where the cost of living is much lower and the quality of life far better.

Also with small cities offering better infrastructure, better work-life balance and lucrative jobs, the boom is evident. Although there’s still some way to go for smaller Indian cities to be counted amongst India’s best, they have already caught up with (in some case even beaten), the bigger ones in terms of fast-paced development and urbanization.


Global forecasts of urban expansion to 2030 and impacts on biodiversity and carbon pools

Urban Resilience


Urban Density


About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in Cities, Human Geography, India, Urban Studies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tier Classification of Indian Cities and Fast Growing Urban Centres

  1. Pingback: Defining City Region | Rashid's Blog: An Educational Portal

  2. Pingback: Bases of Classification of Urban Centres | Rashid's Blog: An Educational Portal

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