From CK Nayak
NEW DELHI: There is a decline of rural population compared to urban ones, due to lack of development and other reasons all over the country, but surprisingly Meghalaya witnessed the highest growth among states followed by Bihar in village populace, as per the latest official census.
The hill state has witnessed 27 per cent growth in rural population followed by Bihar with 24 per cent which is largest among the states in 2001-11.
Incidentally, Meghalaya with nearly 30 lakh population had reported highest decadal growth not only among all the north-eastern states but also among all the special category states and even states with vast international borders like Punjab and Rajasthan.
The state with a population of 29,64,007 reported 27.82 per cent of decadal growth which is also higher than the national average in the provisional census of 2011, as per the earlier census reports.
The reason behind the high decadal growth in such a small state is yet to be explained by the Centre. Various NGOs in the hill state were alarmed at such reports.
All over the country too there is a “steady decline” of rural population not only in the past decade but also in the previous one, the census report said.
Despite this, nearly 70 per cent of the country’s population lives in rural areas where, for the first time since independence, the overall growth rate of population has sharply declined.
Sikkim recorded highest (153 per cent) growth followed by Tripura (76 per cent) in urban population mainly due to high growth in urban areas.
Of the 121 crore Indians, 83.3 crore live in rural areas while 37.7 crore stay in urban areas, said the Census of India’s 2011 Provisional Population Totals of Rural-Urban Distribution in the country, released by Union Home Secretary RK Singh here on Friday.
“The rural-urban distribution is 68.84 per cent and 31.16 per cent respectively,” Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner C Chandramouli said. The level of urbanisation increased from 27.81 per cent in the 2001 Census to 31.16 per cent in the 2011 Census, while the proportion of rural population declined from 72.19 per cent to 68.84 per cent.