Is India’s urbanization really too low?
In this paper, two questions are examined: Is India’s definition of urbanization conservative? What would happen if India used a less restrictive definition? To answer the first question, a simple ordinary least squares model is estimated. For 50% of the comparable countries considered, including India, the actual level of urbanization is below the level predicted by the model, suggesting a conservative definition. To answer the second question, several scenarios are examined. Analysis of village-level results of the 2011 Census of India shows that a population density criterion yields a 69% urbanization rate and a population size criterion a 51% rate. These results are broadly consistent with recent findings from the Government of India’s Economic Survey and other anecdotal evidence.