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Shedding light on unnoticed gems in India: Small towns’ development perspective

Arup Mitra and Sabyasachi Tripathi ()

No 437, IEG Working Papers from Institute of Economic Growth

Abstract: Though a large portion of India’s urban population is living in large cities, the latest Census period (2001-2011) showed that small towns (population less than 0.1 million) such as Census towns have contributed 30% of the country’s urban growth. This phenomenon calls for bringing small towns into the limelight of the current urban development policies of India. In this context, the present paper investigates the determinants of the growth of small towns and their locations. The empirical exercise is performed by considering cluster analysis. Descriptive analysis suggests that in terms of coverage of cities and towns under different important urban policies the small towns are highly neglected. Cluster analysis suggests that different groups among the small towns are noticeable. The availability of infrastructure and amenities is very important for the growth of small towns in India and they are emerging in the vicinity of large cities with low variation in distance and population size. The results reveal that their emergence is the second-best solution after the scope for expansion gets exhausted within the city proper. Finally, policy options are recommended to make small towns more productive in the future so that they contribute to sustainable and higher economic growth in India.

Keywords: small towns; population size; infrastructure; distance; cluster analysis; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O18 R10 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2021-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
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Published as Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, August 2021, pages 1-24

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