Skip to main content

UN study "contradicts" Make in India claim: Urban population growth to slow down in decades to come

Urban population (%): UN estimates
By Rajiv Shah
A recent United Nations report predicts that, contrary to Government of India claims that Make in India campaign will boost urbanization, the country’s urban population is unlikely to grow fast enough. The report says, in 2014, India had 32.4 per cent population living in urban areas, and it will rise to 50.3 per cent by 2050, the pace of growth is likely to go down, and will be far away from the world average.
The data in the report show that, in fact, the pace of urbanization in India has been going down ever since the 1970s, when the annual rate of change of urban population peaked 3.94 per cent, the highest in a decade. In 1980s the rate of change 3.24 per cent, in 1990s it was 2.65 per cent, and in 2000s it was 2.60 per cent.
In the current decade 2010s, the data show, the rate of change urban population in India would be 2.36 per cent, and the deceleration in the growth rate would continue till 2050, the report predicts. In 2020s it would be 2.16 per cent, in 2030s 1.86 per cent, and in 2040s 1.51 per cent.
Titled “The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015: Urban transformations – shifting from quantity to quality”, the data in the report suggest that while in 2014 the world’s average world population was already more than 20 per cent than that of India – 53.4 per cent of the world population lives in urban areas as against India’s 32.4 per cent – the gap is unlikely to get bridged sizably even in 2050.
Thus, the report predicts that the world’s urban population in 2050 would average 66.4 per cent, and as for India it would be 50.3 per cent, suggesting an overall gap of over 16 per cent. The report has been jointly prepared by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
Quoting top Indian urban development expert Prof Amababh Kundu and others, the report says, “In India, natural population growth was the main contributor (50-60 percent) to urban population growth over the period 1961-2001, followed by rural-urban migration (around 20 percent) and reclassification (up to about 15 percent).” However, it adds, “Between 2001 and 2011, the respective contributions of these three drivers to city growth had changed considerably: only about 44 percent resulted from natural growth, 25 percent from migration, while reclassification accounted for nearly 30 percent.”
The data give credence to a study by top American thinktank scholar Yukon Huang suggesting that the Government of India’s unprecedented insistence in favour of urbanization as the only panacea for achieving a higher growth rate is “highly premature”, as it emanates for lack of analysis of ground realities.
Huang said in a recent study for the Carnegie Asia Programme that there is a complete lack of “incentive” for rural people in India to shift to the urban areas. His view is in sharp contrast to India’s Planning Commission successor Niti Ayog Arvind Panagariya, who in an official blog said the Modi government’s Make in India campaign would trigger migration of workers to urban areas.
Panagariya had quoted an NGO survey to say, “Indian farmers and their children recognize the superior prospects that faster-growing industry and services can offer… 62 percent of all farmers say that “they would quit farming if they could get a job in the city.”
The UN report indicates low rate of urbanization growth continues because “urban informal employment in India has a very high rate of urban informal employment.” It insists, “This high rate has persisted despite recent economic growth. It is comprised of a small formal salaried workforce (20 percent).”
---
Click HERE to download the report

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".