City Size and Its Growth Rate: A Case Study of Kerala, India
The process of urban growth is closely related to the size distribution of cities. The world is in the throes of a sweeping population shift from the countryside to the city. Underpinning this transformation are the economies of scale that make concentrated urban centers more productive. The distribution of urban population takes place among settlements of differing sizes along a continuum from small towns to giant cities. The study of urban growth by size class of towns will help to understand the changes of urban development in a region. The growth of cities has the potential for further growth and poverty reduction across many emerging markets. The present study describes the city size in Kerala and its growth rate. Analysis of the 1991 and 2001 census data shows that class I and class II towns dominate the urban system in Kerala in terms of their share of the urban population. Correlation between city size and city growth rate determined that the correlation for all types of towns combined is –0.0185. This shows a very weak correlation, and thus the hypothesis that city size growth is proportional to its growth population is rejected. If we look at urbanisation or urban growth using instantaneous method, the results are staggering. Whereas the growth of urban areas by this method is satisfactory for classes I, II, and III towns, it increases exponentially in the remaining three city categories. This anomaly in Kerala can also be possible due to the low population growth rate and high out-migration from urban areas to Gulf countries. The high literacy rate of Kerala is also responsible for this phenomenon.
KeywordsUrbanisation City size City growth Correlation Primacy of town
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