Census 2011: 86% of Assam's people live in villages

GUWAHATI: Assam is getting urbanized, but at a snail's pace. While an overwhelming 86 per cent of the state's population live in rural areas, only 14 per cent are urban residents.

This came to light on Monday during the release of the Census 2011 provisional population total on rural-urban distribution for Assam. The detailed headcount : Out of 3,11,69, 272 people in the state, 26,780, 516 live in rural areas, contributing to the decadal growth of 15.35 per cent. In 2001, the decadal growth of population in rural areas was 16.51 per cent. In case of urban population, which is 4,388,756 in the 2011 census, the decadal growth is 27.61 per cent, a decline from the decadal growth of 38.24 in 2001.

"Percentage share of decline in rural population for India is 3.35 and increase in urbanization is 3.35. In Assam, the decline in rural share is 1.18 per cent and the subsequent increase in urbanization is 1.18 per cent," director of census operations Assam, Rabendra Kumar Das, said.

The census report says Nagaon has the highest rural population with 2, 457, 906 people, while Dima Hasao has the lowest with 152, 302 people. In urban population, Kamrup (Metropolitan) is the highest with 1,044,832 and Baksa is the lowest with 12,173 people.

Percentage of population growth shows that Dhubri recorded the highest of 24.40 rate, while Kokrajhar recorded the lowest (5.19). In rural percentage of growth of population, Dhubri is highest at 27.13 per cent, while Kamrup (metropolitan) is lowest with 2.93 per cent. Nalbari has shown the highest urban growth of population of 200.34 per cent and Sonitpur is the lowest with (minus) 2.65 percent. The latest provisional population totals also show an increase of literacy rate from 63.25 per cent in 2001 to 73.18 per cent in 2011. The urban literacy rate of 2011 is 88.88 per cent as against the rural 70.44 per cent. Male literacy rate for 2011 in urban areas is 91.84 per cent and in rural areas 76.51 percent. Female literacy rate for 2011 in urban areas is 85.71 per cent and in rural areas is 64.09 per cent.

Child sex ratio in the zero-to-six age group declined to 957 females per 1000 males in 2011 from 965 females per 1000 males in 2001.