The Demographic Structure of the Indian Society

The Demographic Structure of the Indian Society

Question

Discuss the reasons for decline in percentage of rural population as compared to urban population since 1931 CE.

Answer

In order to understand this contrary phenomenon in the population of rural and urban India, we would like to reproduce following comparative table of twentieth century:

Year

Population (In millions)

Percentage of total population

 

Rural

Urban

Rural

Urban

1901

1911

1921

1931

1941

1951

1961

1971

1981

1991

2001

213

226

223

246

275

299

360

439

524

629

743

26

26

28

33

44

62

79

109

159

218

286

89.2

89.7

88.8

88.0

86.1

82.7

82.0

80.1

76.7

74.3

72.2

10.8

10.3

11.2

12.0

13.9

17.3

18.0

19.9

23.3

25.7

27.8

we notice is the table that rural population in terms of number was 213 million in the beginning of century while it reached to 743 millions by taking in increase of 530 million but in the mean time, its percentage has fallen from 89.2% of 1901 to 72.2% in 2001 thereby revealing a fall of 17%. Contrary to it, urban population rose from 10.8% of 1901 to 27.8% in 2001 registering an increase of 17% in the same period. In terms of numbers, it was however 26 million in 1901 and increased to 286 million, thus, considerable increase of 260 million in 2001. Moreover, a continuous trend of increase in urban population since the beginning of 20th century is prime-facie while it is fluctuating up to 1931 in case of rural population. This increase is not confined only in terms of numbers but processes of modern development ensure that the economic and social significance of the agrarian-rural way of life declines relative to the significence of the industrial urban way of life.

Reasons:

(i) Agriculture is no more an occupation hat can give an adequate economic subsistence to agriculturists. Costs of inputs was increased considerably while prices of agro-products are taking i nose-dive.

(ii) Reluctance to farming operations of agriculturists and shifting to non-farm rural occupations like transport services, business enterprises or craft manufacturing is also a major reason for their migration to cities.

(iii) Farmers have been attracted to urban life styles and patterns of consumption owing to awareness created by mass media and communication channels.

(iv) Mass transit and mass communication have bridged the gap between the rural and urban areas.

(v) Rural people initially go to cities in search of jobs but shortly they settle there.

(vi) Common resources like ponds, forests and grazing lands have become private property in village hence, people have no access to these resources. They cannot get fodder, fuel and supplementary food items free of cost as earlier hence, it is also a major reason for their migration to urban centres.

(vii) There are no opportunities for earning cash income in villages.

(viii) The people from depressed castes like ST and SC feel them get-rid of humiliation in relative anonymity that a city provides. Hence, people migrate to cities in order to get rid of humiliation due to caste identity.

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