Ratio of rural urban population of a country is an index of the level of industrialization of that country. As the industries get momentum, ratio of urban population go on increasing. As India is predominantly agricultural country, ratio of urban population is less as compared to rural population.

Census of 2001 reveals that about 27 percent population i.e. about 28 crore people were living in urban areas. As against it, 74 percent of the population i.e. 63 crore people were living in rural areas.

It implies that in the economic life of India, role of industries is relatively less. In 1901, rural population was 89.0 percent while the urban population was 11.0 percent. In 1921 rural population reduced to 88.8% and urban population increased to 11.2 percent.

Further in 1951 rural population was 82.8 percent and urban population was 17.2 percent. Moreover, in 1981 rural and urban population was recorded to be 76.7% and 23.3 percent respectively against 74.0 percent and 26.0 percent in 1991. The population in rural area was 72.6 percent while 27.4 percent in urban areas.


The population Explosion table shows that in the last 100 years, percentage of urban population in the country has increased from 11 percent to 26 percent. It proves that in the economic life of India, role of cities has been increasing, but progress in this direction is very slow.

Compared to developed countries, number of cities and the ratio of population living in urban areas are very low. Just 26 percent of population lives in urban areas, as against 80 percent in England, 74 percent in USA, 72 percent in Japan, 60 percent in Russia and 52 percent in France.