Maharashtra accounts for 23 per cent of total slum population, followed by Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal

Just under nine million households, or roughly one-eighth of India’s urban population lives in a slum, according to data from the latest round of the National Sample Survey Organisation released on Tuesday. The number is significantly lower than the 14 million slum households identified by the Census in 2011.

NSSO, like the Census, counted both slums notified as such by the State government or the local body, and non-notified slums. The NSSO definition of a non-notified slum was slightly more generous than that of the Census; any crowded settlement with poor sanitation and at least 20 households was considered a slum by the NSSO, while the Census required there to be at least 60-70 households.

The divergence between the NSSO’s findings and the Census findings occur at nearly every stage; the NSSO counted 13,761 notified slums while the Census found over 37,000. Notified slums formed 41 per cent of all slums but housed 63 per cent of the slum population, according to the NSSO. In all, the Census counted over 1 lakh slums in India which is over three times the number the NSSO arrived at.

Maharashtra accounted for 23 per cent of the total slum population according to the NSSO, followed by Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Over half of the slum population lives in 53 million-plus cities. An average slum has 263 households, according to the NSSO. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh had the largest slums.

Nearly 45 per cent of slums are located on private land, and 60 per cent of them have pucca structures. 71 per cent have tap water and over 90 per cent have electricity.


Counting conundrumJanuary 1, 2014

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