A Geographical Study of the Himalayan Towns of India <Article>
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An attempt has been made in this paper to analyze the population growth, population density, and sex ratio of a total of 540 urban centers/towns belonging to twelve states/ regions of the Indian Himalaya. We analyze the population distribution, town distribution, growth of towns, density patterns of towns, sex composition, and status wise population based on the size class of towns as per the 2011 Census in particular. In the 2011 Census, the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) consisted a total of 46,790,642 persons living in 61,592 inhabited villages and 540 urban centers, accounting for 3.87% of the total population of the country. The Indian Himalaya hold an urban population of 12,079,291, persons, which accounts for 3.2% of the nation’s total urban population as of 2011. The urban population constitutes 25.8% of the total population of the IHR. Of the total 109 districts in the IHR, two districts (1.83%) of Himachal Pradesh, namely Lahul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts, have no urban population. It is interesting to note that the urban population of the IHR had increased by 567.3% in the period 1901–2011, which is more than two folds (1,358.5%) of the national growth of urban population in India. Of the total 540 urban centers studied, 92 (17%) places were recognized as urban centers for the first time in the 2011 Census. One of the striking issues affecting the Himalayan demography is that one-tenth (56) or 10.4% of urban centers have registered negative growth ranging from 0.2% to 81.8% on the one hand, and 32 (5.9%) towns have registered a range of 100% to 3,909.9% decadal growth from 2001 to 2011 on the other hand. However, the growth of urban population in the IHR has been fluctuating from decade to decade. The density used for calculating the pressure of population on the land of the Indian Himalayan towns varies from 49 persons per km2 to 85,654 persons per km2; however, it has not been computed for 59 (10.9%) towns because of the unavailability of the land area in the towns of Arunachal Pradesh (27), Nagaland (26), and Manipur (6). The sex ratio of the Himalayan towns varied from 4 females per 1,000 males to 1,209 per 1,000 males in the 2011 Census. Only 93 (17.3%) towns recorded more than 1,000 females per 1,000 males, with 82.7% of the towns recording low sex ratio.
Journal of Urban and Regional Studies on Contemporary India
The Center for Contemporary India Studies, Hiroshima University
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