Shimla: Urbanization considered an indicator for development has slowed down sharply in Himachal Pradesh according to provisional data of 2011 census released here today which recorded a 15.63 % decadal increase in urban population against 32.51% increase in the 1991-2001 decade.
Director census HP Balbir Tegta after releasing the provisional population totals for rural urban distribution under 2011 census stated that there were 6,88,704 people living in 59 urban centers in the state.
Whereas a countryâ€™s of 1.21 billion people has 37% of its populating living in urban areas, Himachal along with Bihar, Orissa and Assam in among the least urbanized, a rural/urban population map released by the census department showed.
The 2011 census data records 10.04 % of the states population in urban areas which is marginally higher than the 9.8 % recorded in 2001.
Between 2001 and 2011 the increase in urban population is 93,123 and is the slowest in the last five censuses. Interestingly, of the total increase 53,360 is in the female population.
In 2001 census had 2,85,937 females living in urban areas and have increased to 3,39,297 in 2011 showing a 20 % decadal increase, the urban male population that was 3,06,426 in 2001 has increased to 3,46,189 in 2011 and recorded a 11.98 % decadal growth.
Of the total 7,78,609 population increase in ten year (2001-2011) period, a significant 88% (6,85,486) of it increased in rural areas.
Historical data revealed that in 1971 when the Himachal Pradesh achieved statehood and had 36 census towns, the urban population was 2.42 lakhs, which increased to 3.26 lakhs in 1981, marking a 34.71% decadal increase and the census towns had increased to 47.
The 1991 census recorded an urban population of 4.49 lakhs in 58 towns and there was a 37.73 % decadal increase, the 2001 census counted 5.95 lakh people living in 57 urban centers and had a 32.51% decadal increase.
Against 56 statutory towns and 1 census town listed in the 2001 census, the 2011 has provisional data records 56 statutory town and 3 census towns, showing an increase of just two towns which have qualified as urban centers in the state in the last 10 years.
In the neighboring states of Jammu & Kashmir, the statutory towns from 72 in 2001 have increased to 86 in 2011 and the census towns from 3 in 2001 have been increased to 36. In Uttrakhand the number of statutory towns at 74 remained unchanged in the decadal period but the number of census towns has increased from 12 to 42, the data released today showed.
Number of villages in Jammu & Kashmir declined from 6652 in 2001 to 6551 in 2011 and in Uttrakhand they declined from 16,826 to 16,793 but in Himachal Pradesh they have increased from 20,118 in 2001 to 20,690 in 2011.