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7 of 10 Indians are ruralfolk

Nearly 7 out of 10 Indians still live in villages but the rural population growth rate declined sharply over the last decade, according to census data released on Friday.

delhi Updated: Jul 16, 2011 02:27 IST
HT Correspondent

Nearly 7 out of 10 Indians still live in villages but the rural population growth rate declined sharply over the last decade, according to census data released on Friday.

"For the first time since Independence, the absolute increase in population is more in urban areas than in rural," census commissioner C Chandramouli declared as he unveiled provisional urban-rural population figures.

The census 2011 showed an increase in urbanisation, up from 27.8% to 31.2%.

The population growth in rural areas has declined but in urban areas it has remained almost the same.

The statistics reveal that while the maximum number of people living in rural areas in a particular state is 155 million in Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai tops the list having the maximum number of people in urban areas at 50 million.

The data also reflects that 18.62% of the country's rural population lives in UP and 13.48% urban population lives in Maharashtra.

Chandramouli, however, said the figures revealed an extremely worrying trend of child sex ratio — perceived to be largely an urban problem — declining sharply. “The fall in child sex ratio in rural areas is around 4 time that in urban areas. In urban areas, the decline is much more gradual,” he said.

At 914, the country’s child sex ratio is at the lowest since the 1961 census. Statistics released on Friday revealed that the decline of 13 points from 927 in 2001 was driven by rural areas.

Literacy rate in rural areas, however, has improved by two times more than in urban areas.The rural-urban literacy gap which was 21.2 percentage points in 2001 has come down to 16.1 percentage points in 2011.

There is improvement in female literacy than in male literacy in both rural and urban areas, according to the data.