Urbanisation in a global city: Mumbai

India is an example of a newly industrialised country (NIC). Every year the city grows due to two major factors:

  • natural increase in population
  • rural to urban migration

Natural increase in population

Natural increase is the growth of the population that occurs when there are more births than deaths. Mumbai, home to over 20 million people, has a fertility rate of around two children per woman. This has led to the population of Mumbai growing by approximately 5 per cent year on year – this equates to 1 million extra people being born every year.

Mumbai has seen its fertility rate drop from 4 in 1975 to 1.8 in 2015. This success is largely due to improved education and increased availability of contraception.

Rural to urban migration in Mumbai

Each year thousands of people move to the city of Mumbai from rural areas. People move to Mumbai because the city has lots of pull factors. People think that the city will provide lots of opportunities such as:

  • social - better housing and services, eg healthcare and education
  • economic - more jobs and higher wages
  • environmental - better living conditions with a safer environment (less chance of natural disasters)

People who move think that they will have a better quality of life. However, cities such as Mumbai face lots of challenges, and the people who move there do not always have a better quality of life. Some of the challenges they may face include:

  • social - poor housing conditions and crime
  • economic - low wages or unemployment
  • environmental - polluted drinking water and a lack of sanitation

In addition, countries can be categorised into high income countries (HICs) and low Income countries (LICs). A map of the location of these countries is shown below.

Map showing how countries around the world are categorised into HIC (High income countries) and LIC (Low Income countries).