Science Target Conference Systems, Ajman 4th International Environment Conference 2016

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Trends and Patterns of Urbanization in India: Towards Sustainable Development
Satish Gulabrao Jadhav

Last modified: 2015-09-30


Urbanization is the process through which cities and towns develop and grow. It includes the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas as well as movements among towns and cities. The main difference between urban and rural is that urban population live in larger, denser and more heterogeneous cities as opposed to small, more sparse and less differentiated rural places. Urbanization viewed as a process is thus concerned not just with individual cities but with systems of cities, with linkage between urban places and with interactions between them and the countryside.

Statistics on urbanization are never precise, but the broad picture is quite clear. The 20th century is related to the phenomenon of rapid urbanization. By 1900 13 percent of the world’s population was urban. The urban global tipping point was reached in 2007 when for the first time in history over half of the world’s population 3.3 billion people were living in urban areas. It is estimated that a further 500 million people will be urbanized in the next five years and projections indicate that 60 percent of the world’s population will be urbanized by 2030.

As per census estimates, India’s urban population has grown from 290 million in 2001 to 377 million in 2011; accounting for over 30 percent of the country’s population. This is driven by increase in population of existing urban centers, emergence of new urban centers across the country and migration from rural to urban areas.