Explosion of Urbanization in India: Some Findings and Some Thoughts

Before independence India was predominantly rural. Urbanizations in India was mainly caused after independence, due to adoption of mixed system of economy by the country which gave rise to the development of private sector. Urbanization is taking place at fast rate in India. Population residing in urban areas in India, according to 1901 census, was 11.4%.This count increased to 28.53% according to 2001 census, and crossing 30% as per 2011 census, standing at 31.16%. According to a survey by UN State of the World Population report in 2007, by 2030, 40.76% of country’s population is expected to reside in urban areas.As per World Bank, India, along with China, Indonesia, Nigeria and the United States, will lead the world’s urban population surge by 2050.

World map showing countries by nominal GDP per...

World map showing countries by nominal GDP per capita in 2008, IMF estimates as of April 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

India’s GDP will grow by 5 times

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country’s standard of living;According to McKinsey report, India ‘s GDP is growing fast and it will grow five fold in next decades.

590 million people will live in cities

The value for Urban population in India was 388,524,900 as of 2011.Over the past 51 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 388,524,900 in 2011 and a minimum value of 80,271,580 in 1960.India’s urban population is growing fast and according to the McKinsey report ,590 million will live in cities of India in next two decades.

270 million people will be added to work force

The labour sector of the Indian economy consists of roughly 487 million workers, the second largest after China. Of these over 94 percent work in unincorporated, unorganised enterprises ranging from pushcart vendors to home-based diamond and gem polishing operations. The organised sector includes workers employed by the government, state-owned enterprises and private sector enterprises. In 2008, the organised sector employed 27.5 million workers, of which 17.3 million worked for government or government owned entities.

 70 percent net increase in employment in Indian cities

Cities are great employment generators. According to McKinsey report there will be a 70 percent net increase in employment opportunities in Indian cities in various sectors.

68 million plus cities will be there in India in 2030

According to McKinsey report there will be 68 cities having population of more than one million.

 91 million households will be middle class in India

The Indian middle class was estimated to be 250 million people in 2007, by McKinsey & Company. It will reach 600 million by 2030. According to Deutsche Research the estimates are nearly 300 million people for all Middle Class. If current trends continue, Indian per capita purchasing power parity will significantly increase from 4.7 to 6.1 percent of the world share by 2015. In 2006, 22 percent of Indians lived under the poverty line. India aims to eradicate poverty by 2020.

According to NCAER, India’s middle class population to touch 267 million in 5 yrs. Further ahead, by 2025-26 the number of middle class households in India is likely to more than double from the 2015-16 levels to 113.8 million households or 547 million individuals. .

The standard of living in India shows large disparity. For example, rural areas of India exist with very basic (or even non-existent) medical facilities, while cities boast of world class medical establishments. Similarly, the very latest machinery may be used in some construction projects, but many construction workers work without mechanisation in most projects.

In 2010, the per capita PPP-adjusted GDP for India was US$3,608.

The Great Indian Middle Class will be a bigger force in coming decades.

 USD 1.2 trillion investment is needed for infrastructure in Indian Cities

For any country, its infrastructure is a matter of pride. From roadways, railways to airports and other smart-city initiatives, the last few years have witnessed a phenomenal change in the sector, leading to world-class facilities coming up across various parts in the country. But to upgrade Indian system to world Class USD 1.2 trillion investment is needed for infrastructure in Indian Cities.

700-900 million sq meter of commercial and residential space is needed

2.5 billion sq meter of roads are to be paved ,2o times added in past decade

Infrastructure is insufficient so India have to make great advances in this field for development.

7400 kms. of metro n subways need to be added, 20 times of added in last decade

Sources ,links and Inspirations:

World Bank Staff estimates based on United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects.



About Rashid Faridi

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

1 Response to Explosion of Urbanization in India: Some Findings and Some Thoughts

  1. lenrosen4 says:

    Now if India could only improve the performance of its governments. This is a country that has a well educated population and the rural to urban migration will only speed up the nation’s capacity to grow and increase prosperity. But India’s many governments act like an anchor dragging the speed of development down.


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