Importance Of Urbanization In Bihar

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Compared to the national average of 31.2 percent, the level of urbanisation in Bihar, according to 2011 census, is only 11.3 percent (Table 1). Among all the states, Bihar is indeed the least urbanized in the country. The state has only 3.1 percent of country’s total urban population but accounts for 8.6 percent of India’s total population.
Along with ‘low’ level of urbanisation, Bihar has experienced a very ‘slow’ pace of urbanisation. This can be explained through following (Table 1) – Between 2001 and 2011 - the level of urbanisation in India has increased by 3.4 percentage points from 27.8 percent to 31.2 percent. In contrast, Bihar witnessed only 0.8 percent increase – from 10.5 percent to 11.3 percent.
The ‘slow’ pace has been a very long-stretched phenomena. Between 1961 and 2011, level of urbanisation in Bihar has increased by only 3.9 percentage points, from 7.4 percent (1961) to 11.3 percent (2011). This increase was 13.2 percentage points, from 18.0 percent to 31.2 for the entire country1.

The number of towns in Bihar has increased from 130 to 199 between 2001 and 2011. The emergence of 69 additional towns over a decade is a good progress, but many of these new towns are very small, having population below 10 thousands. Only 26 towns out of the 199 have population above one lakh where secondary and tertiary activities could come up. Cities of Patna and Gaya account for around 14 percent and 4 percent of urban population respectively. There is regional
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