Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.


A turnaround in India’s urbanization

In recent years, there has been a change in the thinking of policymakers about urbanization in India. In the Eleventh Five-year Plan (2007-2012) it is argued that urbanization should be seen as a positive factor in overall development, as the urban sector contributes about 65 per cent of GDP. There is also a growing realization that an ambitious goal of 9-10 per cent growth in GDP depends fundamentally upon a vibrant urban sector. As India is implementing the Twelfth Five-year Plan (2012-2017), the urban transition is considered to be one of the major challenges, requiring a massive expansion in urban infrastructure and services. Against this backdrop, the results of the 2011 census assume enormous significance in enhancing understanding of the magnitude, growth and interstate variations in the levels and rate of urbanization. Urbanization has increased faster than had been expected according to the 2011 census. This has reversed the declining rate of urbanization witnessed during the 1980s and 1990s. Also, for the first time since independence, the absolute increase in the urban population was higher than that in the rural population. In this article an attempt has been made to study the trends, patterns and components of urban population growth in the light of the results of the 2011 census.


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