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Census towns Census towns

New Patterns in Indian Urbanization: Emergence of Census Towns

This study focuses on the new patterns related to urbanization in India from the 2011 census data, particularly with regard to the emergence of the census towns. What forces are involved in explaining the growth of such towns is an important question and this is what the present article tries to explore. The regional spread of these census towns is examined and based on the district-level data, the growth dynamics of such reclassification of areas from rural to urban status is brought out through factor analysis. Further, the viability of such new towns to sustain economic activities and population growth is also discussed. Findings tend to suggest that activities in areas which have already been urban tend to spillover to the rural hinterland and then usher in a change in their classification status, in a limited sense though. On the other hand, the shift of labour to non-farm activities due to the lack of productive sources of livelihood in the agricultural sector is also a strong possibility. Finally, the policy implications are brought out.