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Demography and Settlement Patterns
2.1.1 Deﬁnition of urban areas
In the case of India, census authorities adopted the following criteria for deﬁning urban
a. All places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board, notiﬁed town area com-
mittee, or other such places
b. All places which satisfy the following criteria:
i) A minimum population of 5000
ii) At least 75 percent of male working population engaged in nonagricultural pursuits
iii) A density of population of at least 400 persons per sq. km.
c. Besides the major project colonies, areas of industrial development, railway colonies, and
important tourist destinations were also treated as urban though they might not fulﬁll the
above criteria strictly.
2.1.2 Urban development in India
Only 25% of India’s population during 1981 lived in the 4500 areas of India that are clas-
siﬁed as urban. Most of these urban areas are located in places where there is prosperous
agriculture which is in western, southern, and northwestern India though that is starting to
change. Urban growth is surprisingly faster than India’s rural growth even though there is
a high amount of congestion in most cities. The reason for this exponential urban growth is
due to the commercialization of the agricultural industry as well as the expansion of various
other industries such as manufacturing and services. Some urban areas were comparable to
major cities of the world in terms of urban population and density of population. The top
ﬁve major urban centers of India are:
1. Mumbai, 12,478,447
2. Delhi, 11,007,835
3. Kolkata, 4,486,679
4. Chennai, 4,681,087
5. Bangalore, 8,425,970
All these cities are experiencing traﬃc congestion during most of the day time in one locality
or another. Figure 2.2 illustrates a typical traﬃc jam in the city of Mumbai.
Figure 2.2: A Typical Traﬃc Jam in Mumbai
2.1.3 Rural settlement pattern
75% of India’s population lives in small villages with a few hundred people in a settlement.