Only one in 10 Indians lived in cities at the start of the 20th century. By 2030, the United Nations estimates that over 40 per cent of India’s population will be found in its big cities. Further, a 2018 UN report says that by 2050, India, China and Nigeria will account for 35 per cent of the projected growth in the global urban population. India will be home to 416 million urban dwellers, way over the current population of the United States (332 million).
Seventeen of the 20 fastest-growing cities globally between 2019 and 2035 will be from India, according to the Oxford Economics Global Cities Report. Other studies suggest our cities will generate 70 per cent of new jobs, contribute to 70 per cent of the GDP and drive a near four-fold increase in per capita income by 2030. Such rapid urbanisation brings with it the challenges of ensuring quality of life and inclusive growth. As Union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri noted, 70 per cent of India of the future is yet to be built to cater to its ever-growing urban population.