Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Census Report on Indian rural-urban population trends (2011)


The Rural Urban distribution of Population of the Census 2011 was released by Union Home Secretary Mr. R.K.Singh on July 15, 2011. The first figures of Census 2011, released on March 31st 2011, had shown that India’s overall population had increased from 1.02 billion to 1.21 billion, but for the first time, the growth during the past decade had been actually lower than the preceding 10 years. On March 31st the government had released Census data related to Sex Ratio and literacy. On July 15, 2011 it gave the rural urban break up for these figures.
The Census 2011 dashboard was also launched on the occasion which gives rural urban break up of the population and it’s growth rate in rural and urban areas. It will also provide rural urban child sex ratio and urban child sex ratio. Besides this, literacy rate for rural urban areas will also be provided. Data on rural urban distribution distribution of population provides level and trend of urbanization. This would be useful for framing and planning policies of rural urban population particularly it would provide basic frame for ensuing Twelfth Plan Period.
The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, C.Chandramouli presented the data highlights.
Nearly 70% of country’s population live in rural areas where, for the first time since independence, the overall growth rate of the population has sharply declined, according to the highlights. Of the 121 crore Indians, 83.3 crore live in rural areas while 37.7 crore live in urban areas. For the first time since independence, the absolute increase in population is more in urban areas than in rural areas. The rural urban distribution is 68.84% and 31.16% respectively.
The level of urbanization increased from 27.81% in 2001 Census to 31.16% in Census 2011, while the portion of rural population declined from 72.19% to 68.84%. The slowing down of overall growth rate of population is due to the sharp decline in the growth rate in rural areas, whereas the growth rate in urban areas remains almost the same. However, according to the report, the number of births in rural areas has increased by 9 crore in the last decade.
During 2001-11, the rate of growth of rural population has been 12.18%. The growth of country’s rural population is steadily declining since 1991, the report said. Though the growth rate of the population in rural areas of Empowered Action Group (EAG) states is nearly three times that in rural areas in non EAG states, it is for the first time that significant fall of growth rate is seen in the rural areas of  EAG states. The EAG states are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odhisa (new name for Orissa) and Chattisgarh.
The total share of India’s urban population is estimated to grow to 41% of the total population by 2030. Some estimates place this at 55% in the year 2050. The percentage of population below poverty line in the country has gone down from 55% in 1973-74 to 27.5% in 2004-05. For urban areas this percentage of poor has reduced from 49% in 1993-74 to 25.7% in 2004-05.
In the year 2004-05, the estimated number of urban poor was 81 million and the slum dwellers was 62 million. In 2001, there were 7,79,000 people living without homes.  Only 64% of urban India lives in homes that are in ‘good’ condition while close to 1.93 million live in ‘dilapidated’ houses followed by 17.31 million living in houses that are in ‘liviable condition’.

Highest Rural-Urban Populations
          The statistics reveal that while the maximum number of people living areas in a particular state is 15.5 crore in Uttar Pradesh. Mumbai tops the list having the maximum number of people in urban areas at 5 crores. The data also reflects that 18.62% of the country’s rural population lives in Uttar Pradesh and 13.48% of urban population lives in Maharashtra.

Rural-Urban Habitations
       A total of 2774 additional habitations were classified as urban units for the 2011 Census while the rise in the number of rural units was 2279. India now has 6.4 lakh villages as compared to 6.38 lakh earlier.

Highest Urban Population Growth
          Sikkim more than doubled its urban population, showing a 153% rise, while Kerala showed an increase of 93%. Tripura increased its urban population by 76%.

Highest Rural population Growth
          Bihar and Meghalay showed the biggest growth in rural populations, registering a rise of 24% and 27% respectively. However the growth of country’s rural population is steadily declining since 1991, the report said. Four states that recorded a decline in the rural population during 2001-11 are Kerala by 26%, Goa by 19%, Nagaland by 15% and Sikkim by 5%.

Most Urban States
          Goa and Mizoram are the first states to be more urban than rural.

Most Rural States
          Himachal Pradesh, 90% rural is India’s most rural state, followed by Bihar 89% and Assam 86%.

Sex Ratio
          According to the report, though the urban child ratio is far worse than that in rural areas, the fall in child sex ratio in rural areas is around four times than in urban areas. However the decline in child sex ratio is more gradual in urban areas, the report said. There is a decline of 8.9 million children in rural areas while in urban areas have shown increase of 3.9 million children. The data shows there is an increase in the overall sex ratio in the country from 933 in 2001 to 940 in 2011. However the improvement in overall sex ratio is largely in urban areas. In rural areas in the country there has been an increase by only 1 point from 946 in 2001 to 947 in 2011. In urban areas there has been an appreciable gain of 26 points from 900 in 2001 to 926 in 2011. In 10 states and UTs, the urban sex ratio is higher than rural sex ratio in Census 2011. This includes Tamil Nadu, Kerala and National Capital of Delhi, the report said.

Child Sex Ratio
        The report said that the child population in the country has declined by 5 million or almost 3% between 2001 and 2011. This is due to sharp decline of 8.9 million or about 7% in the child population in the rural areas. In urban areas, the child population has increased by 3.9 million or about 10%.Fears of rampant use of pre-natal sex determination technology in rural areas have been confirmed with census data indicating that child sex ratio (CSR) fell more sharply in villages than in urban areas in the last decade.

Rural and Urban CSRs
        The Census 2011 says that child sex ratio (ratio of girls to boys under the age of 6 years) in the country is the lowest recorded since the 1961 Census. It stands at 914 in the last Census report. “Though the urban child ratio is far worse than that in rural areas, the fall in child sex ratio in rural areas is around four times than in urban areas. In fact the decline is more gradual in urban areas,” says the Census of India’s 2011 Provisional Population Totals of Rural-Urban Distribution. Rural India still has a better CSR (ratio of girls to boys under the age of 6 years) of 919 than urban India’s 902. However between 2001 and 2011, rural India’s CSR fell by 15 points as opposed to urban India’s 4 point decline, and the gap between has narrowed. States/UTs with best and worst CSRs: Harayana has both the worst urban and rural CSR. Nagaland has the best urban CSR, while in rural areas, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has the best, indicating yet again that tribal communities have a more egalitarian attitude to girls than other communities.

        There has been an increase of 217.8 million literates since the last Census in 2001. Out of this, 131.1 million were in rural areas and 86.6 million in urban areas. The improvement of literacy rates in rural areas is 2 times than that in urban areas. The rural-urban literacy gap which was 21.2% points has come down to 16.1% points in 2011. There is more improvement in female literacy than in male literacy in both rural and urban areas, according to the data. The gender gap in literacy has came down from 24.6 in 2001 to 19.8 in 2011 in rural areas and from 13.4 in 2001 to 9.8 in 2011 in urban areas.

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