Census: Population growing in Thane, Mumbai and suburbs, but at slower rate

Ranjit Singh Deol

Though Thane and suburban Mumbai continue to grow exponentially and are the two most populous districts in the state as per the provisional data of Census 2011, the rate at which the population of these districts is growing has actually slowed down. The percentage of growth in population in Thane district has come down from 54.92 per cent during 1991-2001 to 35.94 per cent in 2001-11. For suburban Mumbai, the rate of growth has dropped sharply from 27.99 per cent in 1991-2001 to 8.01 per cent over the last decade, while it was over 100 per cent during 1960s and 1970s.

Of the 35 districts in the state, three districts have shown a decline in population, the sharpest dip being in Mumbai. The population here has fallen by 5.75 per cent as compared to the population as per the 2001 Census – from 33,38,031 in 2001 to 31,45,966 in 2011.

However, the density of population continues to be a major challenge for Mumbai and suburban Mumbai. As compared to the national density of 382 people per square km and Maharashtra's 365 persons per sq km, the density of suburban Mumbai is 20,925 per square km, while that of island city is 20,038 to a sq km. Density of population in Thane is 1,157, considerably up from 851 per sq km during 1991-2001.

In terms of sex ratio, there is both good and bad news for Mumbai and Thane, even as all three districts continue to have the lowest sex ratio across the state. While the sex ratio has improved, the child sex ratio (for children between age group of 0-6 years) has fallen. The sex ratio in Thane has increased from 858 in 2001 to 880 in 2011. Similarly, the sex ratio in Mumbai and Suburban Mumbai has increased from 777 and 822 in 2001 respectively to 838 and 857 in 2011 respectively. The child sex ratio in island city has come down from 922 in 2001 to 874 in 2011. In suburban Mumbai, it has come down from 923 to 910. In Thane, it has fallen from 931 to 918.

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