The demography of Rajasthan is rapidly shifting to cosmopolitan centers, all thanks to superior infrastructure. Urbanization boosted living standards in the last couple of years. Regardless of the fact that the urbanization rate in Rajasthan is much lower as compared to other states, like Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra, the population is tilting towards urban areas. Considering the latest scenario, the NCP (National Commission for Population) predicts that by 2050, nearly 35% of the total population will have shifted to urban areas.
According to the NCP, the urban populace hiked up from 23.9% (in 2001) to 24.2% (in 2017). Availability of better facilities in the cities, improved infrastructure, and the high growth rate in early 2000 caused this sudden acceleration from 2001 onwards. If globalization continues at this pace, the urban centers will accommodate nearly 24.4% of the total population by 2022. The numbers will dramatically increase to 25% in 2022 and 29.1% in 2026.
On a positive note, Rajasthan has witnessed the slowest growth in urban population between 2010 and 2020. Mr. Laxmi Thakor (HOD, Dept. of Population Studies, MDS University, Ajmer) explains the reason behind it. There was a sharp growth in urban population (4%) in last four years. However, the population is expected to rise by just 2% from 2017 to 2022. It may be because the government is developing suburban areas in each district. The introduction of a self-sustained model for villages has helped this case.
Nevertheless, population explosion is a matter of concern for the government. Mr. KB Kothari (Former policy advisor and planner at UNICEF, New York) expressed his concern over these projections. He recommends the government to boost infrastructural arrangements to be able to meet the incoming population exodus from rural areas.
Today, nearly 28%-32% migrants from the villages dwell in slum areas of urban cities. Immigration from rural areas will put an additional burden on stressed facilities, such as education, community development, and healthcare. The government needs to develop more suburban areas near well-developed cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Kota to accommodate this demographic change. Gurugram and Noida near Delhi are fine examples, reflecting this change.
In next one decade, the population of Rajasthan is likely to shoot up by 8.15% (the current estimated numbers are around 7.39 crores). The population is increasing by 10 lakhs every year. To check this inflation, the government needs to focus on family planning. Mr. Reepunjaya Singh (Professor of Urban Development in Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration) believes if the government creates a stable road network within 50 km radius of the cities, the settled population will turn into a floating population. If the people get to commute easily between the cities and villages, they won’t take pains for settling down in the slums.