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Delhi vs Mumbai: A debate through numbers

Delhi scores better on most counts, barring crime and safety for women

Nikhil Inamdar  |  Mumbai 

One is India’s financial capital, the other its political capital. In drawing rooms and offices, the Delhi vs. Mumbai debate is an old one and rages on relentlessly, providing much needed amusement to the dwellers of these two urban metropolises. But as Delhi goes to polls, we try and cut through the hubbub and sift through hard numbers to find out how the two cities fare on various parameters. Numbers of course don’t bear out social and cultural traits of seeming pre-eminence or esoteric ideas of character, spirit or cosmopolitanism, but do give you a fair idea of how a city is progressing.

According to a variety of official and unofficial data compiled by Business Standard, on a majority of counts Delhi seems to be performing better than Mumbai, struggling however to rein in instances of crime and safety for women.

On education for instance, Delhi spends thrice the amount Mumbai does and has continued upping its budgets, even though on literacy Mumbai currently fares better.

Item Delhi Mumbai
Expenditure on education (2011-12) Rs 4,974.3 Cr Rs 1,493 Cr
Literacy (2011-12) 86.4% 90.8%
Source: India Spend

Delhi’s health budget is also much higher than Mumbai’s and consequently its death rate per 1000 is nearly half that of Mumbai and infant mortality rates are also much lower.

Item Delhi Mumbai
Expenditure on health (2011-12) Rs 3,480.77 Cr Rs 2,167.5 Cr
Death rate per 1000 4.3 7.4
Infant mortality 28 29.53
Source: India Spend

From an economic point of view, while Mumbai beats Delhi on growth rates of GDP and per capita GDP, going forward, Delhi is slated to overtake Mumbai on both counts by 2025.

Item Delhi Mumbai
GDP (2010) $48 bn $56 bn
GDP in 2025 (expected) $211 bn $193 bn
Per Capita GDP (000$) $7 $8
Per Capita GDP in 2025 (000$) (expected) $19 $16
Source: ET report quoting data from McKinsey Global Institute

Mumbaikars also have to shell out a lot more on basic living costs than Delhiites do, whether it’s on housing, fuel and light bills, food and other miscellaneous items, even though discretionary spends are more expensive in the capital.

Item Delhi Mumbai
CPI-IW (2011) (% YOY) 8% 10.3%
Food 8.6% 21.1%
Housing 11.35 18%
Fuel & Light bills 11% 24.8%
Source: Delhi Economic Survey 2012-13, Orbis Economics Estimates

Delhi is also likely to attract more people in the future, as by 2025 it is likely to narrow the population gap with Mumbai by 1 million from the current 2 million.

Item Delhi Mumbai
2010 population (in millions) 16.2 18.2
Expected population in 2025 (in millions) 21.4 22.4
Source: ET report quoting data from McKinsey Global Institute

On crime though, Delhi continues to lag Mumbai, accounting for a tenth of all the crimes that were reported in the country in 2012 and 585 rapes, more than twice the 232 that were reported in Mumbai.

CRIME (2012)
Item Delhi Mumbai
% of total crimes committed in India 10.1% 6.2%
Reported rape cases 585 232
Source: Crime Records Bureau

While there is no ready data available to compare the two cities on infrastructure, there is broad agreement that Delhi scores over Mumbai on the infrastructure it provides to its inhabitants. The Times of India quoted Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as saying that the country's financial capital gets "step-motherly treatment" compared to Delhi as since 2005, Delhi has received 34% more funds under the Centre's flagship urban development programme - the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The same report also suggests, however, that Delhi has been much more efficient in spending its funds than Mumbai. According to the report, a Union Urban Development Ministry estimate suggests that Mumbai has spent 95% of central funds compared to Delhi's 115%.

So Delhiites, do keep these stats handy next time a Delhi vs. Mumbai argument ensues!

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First Published: Tue, December 03 2013. 11:15 IST