Growing Indian cities and towns throughout the 20 th century

Abstract : There were 35 million plus cities in India, in 2001, and 46 in 2011. Since a few decades, we are attending a relative take-off of the Indian urbanization rate (16.5% in 1951 and 32.1% in 2011). Indeed, the Indian urban population, in 2011, is more numerous than the population of the USA in 2012. Assessing the causes and consequences of that growing number and size of cities appears essential for the understanding of the future Indian urban society. A first step consists in assessing the evolution of the number of towns and cities before studying the evolution of the population of each town since 1901 and analyzing the evolution of the Indian urban system using a Zipf’s rank-size rule. Outcomes showed that, since the 1950s, the number of towns is notably increasing. More specifically, the number of second and third order cities grown tremendously since the last 40 years. Moreover, the assessment of the evolution of the Indian urban system led us to highlight a situation nationally balanced (no primacy) and regionally unbalanced (with presence of primate cities). We can then emphasize the multiscalar structure of the Indian urban system and assume the existence of a spatial resilience phenomenon.
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Joël Querci, Sébastien Oliveau. Growing Indian cities and towns throughout the 20 th century. XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference, IUSSP, Aug 2013, Busan, South Korea. ⟨hal-01140584⟩

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