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Data tracker: Is nuclearisation in urban India on the decline?

Recent census data show the share of nuclear households in urban areas has declined to 52.3%

Ishan Bakshi 

Data tracker: Is nuclearisation in urban India on the decline?

Recently released census data show the share of nuclear in areas has declined to 52.3 per cent in 2011, from 54.3 per cent in 2001. Some have construed this as a sign that nuclear households, a dominant theme of urbanization in India, are possibly on the decline. 

But a closer look at the data suggest that it may be a bit premature to draw such conclusions. 

While the share of nuclear in total has declined, in absolute terms in this category have risen from 30.2 million in 2001 to 42.1 million in 2011 – implying a growth rate of 3.4 per cent per annum over the 10-year period.

This implies that the decline in its share in overall is a consequence of the faster growth of other household categories. 

Census data show that two categories namely - supplemented nuclear and broken extended - have grown at a much faster pace than the growth of over the past decade. 

Supplemented nuclear which include nuclear family members plus other relations without spouses have grown by 4.9 per cent per annum, reaching 12.98 million in 2011 up from 8 million a decade ago. 

Similarly, broken extended households, which consist of houses without a spouse but with other relations, have grown by 13.7 per cent per annum reaching 3.72 million from 1 million a decade ago.

Thus, faster growth of these two particular categories of need to be probed for understanding the changing dynamics of in areas.

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