The Growth of Cities in India, 1870-2020

  • Blog Post Date 20 February, 2016
  • IGC Research on India
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Chinmay Tumbe

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A)


The aim of this project is to understand the determinants of city growth in India in the short run and over the long period. By analysing data on cities from every decennial Census conducted in India between 1872 and 2011 and economic, demographic, social and geographic data obtained from other sources, the project seeks to address the following research questions: (i) What have been the determinants of city population growth in every decade between 1870 and 2010? (ii) How have the determinants of city population growth changed over time and behaved in specific periods such as the colonial era, pre-reform independent India and post-reform independent India? (iii) What is the relationship between agglomeration economies, human capital externalities and economic growth in sustaining city growth in a major developing country such as India? (iv) What is the forecast for city growth in the decade 2011-2021?

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