Visualising the ‘Grey’ Area between Rural and Urban India

Arindam Jana


Do official levels of urban population in India truly capture the extent that lives in dense, highly populated conditions with significant non-agricultural earning opportunities commonly associated with ‘urban’ contexts? According to the Census of India, the country is about one third urban—27 per cent in 2001 and 31 per cent in 2011. However, these figures fail to capture those sections of the population that live in urban-like settlements but are not counted due to the strict dichotomous nature of ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ definitions in India. In this paper, we bring focus on the patterns and geographies of the grey area between ‘rural’ and ‘urban’, thereby shedding light on future trends of urbanisation in India, and underlining policy implications in terms of resource allocation and governance.

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