Yogesh Kumar/Mint

Yogesh Kumar/Mint

Delhi population stabilizing but trend raises questions

Delhi population stabilizing but trend raises questions

New Delhi: The latest census data for Delhi reveals that the city’s population is stabilizing, but the way the national capital has managed to do this may throw open a new debate.

Delhi registered its lowest population growth rate since 1931, at 20.95% in the past decade, according to the 2011 census data for the state, which was released on Monday. While in the previous 2001 census, Delhi’s population grew 47.02%, in the 1931 census it stood at 30.25%.

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The census report said that a decadal growth rate of 21% still shows that Delhi continues to be a metropolitan growth magnet. “It may also be kept in mind that the major cities of the National Capital Region (NCR) area, namely Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida have in recent years absorbed a lot of the growth impulses emanating from Delhi."

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Yogesh Kumar/Mint

However, Sanjay Kumar, director, operations at Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan, said that it is unlikely that the slum-dwellers have left the city. “They have moved to other parts of the city and are living under no permanent structures. That is why they have not been properly counted." Kumar claimed the homeless in Delhi have not been counted properly under the census, something that the Delhi census chief Joshi ruled out.

The census report pointed out that another visible trend is the commercialization of previously residential areas. “People prefer to move out to more modernized housing in other parts of Delhi or NCR. Thus, the removal of the Yamuna Pushta and simultaneous large-scale commercialization has led to a 10.5% fall in population in central district," the Delhi census report said.

The maximum population growth (31%) has taken place in the south-west district. The new sub-city of Dwarka, which has come up in the last 10 years, is a major factor leading to high growth.

The overall sex ratio in Delhi has increased substantially from 821 in 2001 to 866 in 2011. “It may indicate that a larger proportion of migrants coming into Delhi for work reasons are women compared to the situation 10 years back," the census report said. “This could be also because men who are now coming to work in Delhi are coming with their families."

Continuing with the national trend, the child (0-6) sex ratio has dipped marginally from 868 in 2001 to 866 in 2011 in Delhi. While the situation has not worsened significantly, the census report maintained that more efforts are needed to bring the child sex ratio in Delhi at par with the national average of 914.

On the literacy front, the gap between male and female literacy in Delhi narrowed further, keeping pace with the national trend.