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

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.