Impacts of rapid urbanisation - advantages and disadvantages

India's economic changes have caused rapid urbanisation. This has several advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • The increase in population in urban areas creates a skilled workforce that attracts transnational corporations creating jobs for example in call centres and software mills. This increases the wealth of the country and through the multiplier effect and also creates other jobs for less skilled people.
  • The increase in wealth is used to develop both secondary and university education, further increasing the skills base of the urban area. This triggers cumulative causation and the creation of Indian high tech companies.
  • The increase in wealth is used to develop sanitation within the urban areas reducing water-borne diseases and so reducing infant mortality rates.

Disadvantages

In some cases this rapid urbanisation happens too fast for the city authorities to cope with. This can result in a lack of affordable accommodation causing many recent migrants from rural areas to rely on self-built housing such as Dharavi in Mumbai. The growth of Dharavi and other slums can create many problems - for example inadequate waste disposal, high incidences of disease and conflict. Rapid urbanisation also puts pressure on transport systems and job opportunities. This can result in people working in poor conditions, for long hours and low pay.