McKinsey Quarterly

India’s urbanization: A closer look

| Article

Urban expansion in India will happen at a speed quite unlike anything the country or the world has seen before. It took nearly 40 years (from 1971 to 2008) for India’s urban population to rise by nearly 230 million; it will take only half that time to add the next 250 million. This expansion will affect almost every state. For the first time in India’s history, five of its largest states will have more of their population living in cities than in villages. This interactive graphic offers a map of urbanization by state and notes which cities are poised to surpass the 4-million mark in population.

To mitigate the strains that will develop as cities expand, and to maximize the potential economic opportunity that well-managed cities can offer, India urgently needs a fresh, proactive approach to addressing the challenges of urbanization. A $1.1 trillion capital investment in India’s cities is necessary to meet projected demand for urban services. In a related podcast, “Confronting India’s urbanization challenge,” McKinsey’s Richard Dobbs and Shirish Sankhe discuss where to begin, where the funding may come from, and what the opportunities are for multinational corporations. To listen to their remarks, use the audio tool in the box above.

Read an executive summary or download the full report: India’s urban awakening: Building inclusive cities, sustaining economic growth.