- February 2011: Vol. 3 No. 2

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Urbanizing India: What Are India’s Urbanization Needs and How Can They Be Achieved?

by Dr. P.S. Rana and Aashish Kalra

India is the second fastest growing economy in the world with an average annual GDP growth rate of 8.7 percent (2009–2010) and plans to achieve double-digit growth in the coming years. India’s urban population — comprising approximately 30 percent of the country’s total population — makes a significant contribution to its economy at 60 percent and more. With more than 70 percent of the total population living in rural areas, urbanization of the rural economy becomes imperative.

The decadal growth rate of the Indian population (census 2001) suggests 31.2 percent and 17.9 percent rates of growth for the urban and the rural populations, respectively. However, the rate of growth for urbanization or urban areas has been relatively slow in the past decades (see “India’s Urbanization Trends,” page 14). A robust growth in population and a relatively slow-paced growth of urban infrastructure has resulted in stress on existing urban areas.


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