Urban growth refers to the expansion of a metropolitan or suburban area into the surrounding environment. It can be considered as an indicator of the state of a country’s economic condition as the effect of urban growth directly impacts the country’s economic development.
Urban growth leads to urbanization which in turn leads to a number of changes such as-
- Migration of rural people to urban areas.
- Employment opportunities in urban centers.
- Transport and communication facilities.
- Educational facilities.
- Increase in the standard of living.
Urbanization can yield positive effects if it takes place up to a desirable limit. Extensive urbanization or indiscriminate growth of cities may result in adverse effects like-
- Problem of over population, growth of slums etc.
- Disintegration of Joint family
- Cost of living
- Increase in Crime rates
- Impersonal relations
- Problem of Pollution
Most of these changes have a direct impact on the country’s economic development.
India’s total population has increased from 238.4 million in 1901 to 1028 million in 2001 whereas urban population has increased from 25.8 million in 1901 to 286.1 million in 2001 According to Planning Commission; the urban population is expected to rise more than 40% by 2021.
There is also a Changing employment scenario. Indian Cities are in the process of adapting new economic realities. City-level economic development is slowly shifting away from industrial activities to more sophisticated knowledge base systems The ratio of urban to rural labor productivity increased from 2.32 in 1980–1981 to 2.34 in 1993–1994 and to 2.83 in 1999–2000. This affects the GDP of the country as well as the standard of living, health, social inclusion, safety, literacy, and other initiatives.
As all these factors are components of Economic development, it is proof that urban growth is an indicator of the state of a country’s economic condition