Difference between Metropolitan Cities and Urban Agglomeration

The difference between Metropolitan Cities and Urban Agglomeration is explained here in detail.

The Census Commission of India defines Metropolitan cities as those Indian cities having a population of more than 4 million

As per the Census of India 2011, an Urban Agglomeration is a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining outgrowths (OGs) or two or more physically contiguous towns together with or without outgrowths of such towns. 

Visit the given link for information on dates, structure, and other details of the IAS Exam.

Difference between Metropolitan Cities and Urban Agglomeration:- Download PDF Here

Difference between Metropolitan Cities and Urban Agglomeration

The major differences between Metropolitan Cities and Urban Agglomeration in India are:

Metropolitan Cities  Urban Agglomeration
The Census Commission of India defines Metropolitan cities as those Indian cities having a population of more than 4 million. 

The 74th Amendment to the Indian Constitution defines a metropolitan area as An area having a population of 10 Lakh or 1 Million or more, comprised in one or more districts and consisting of two or more Municipalities or Panchayats or other contiguous areas, specified by the Governor by public notification to be a Metropolitan area.

As per the Census of India 2011, an urban agglomeration is a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining outgrowths (OGs), or two or more physically contiguous towns together with or without outgrowths of such towns. 

An Urban Agglomeration must consist of at least a statutory town and its total population (i.e. all the constituents put together) should not be less than 20,000 as per the 2001 Census. In varying local conditions, there were similar other combinations which have been treated as urban agglomerations satisfying the basic condition of contiguity. 

As per the Census of India 2011 definition of more than 4 million population, some of the major Metropolitan Cities in India are:

  • Mumbai (more than 18 Million)
  • Delhi (more than 16 Million)
  • Kolkata (more than 14 Million)
  • Chennai (more than 8.6 million)
  • Bangalore (around 8.5 million)
  • Hyderabad (around 7.6 million)
  • Ahmedabad (around 6.3 million)
  • Pune (around 5.05 million)
  • Surat (around 4.5 million)
As per the Census of India 2011, the number of Urban Agglomerations in India is 475. As per the Census of India 2001, the number of Urban Agglomerations was 384.

Urban Agglomerations (UA) are further classified into 3 different groups.

Class I UA (Urban Agglomeration) – Having a population of at least 1,00,000 persons.

Million Plus UA (Urban Agglomeration) – Having a population of 1 million or above. 42.6% of the urban population live in these Million Plus Urban Agglomerations.

Mega Cities – Among the Million Plus UAs/Cities, there are three very large UAs with more than 10 million persons, known as Mega-Cities. 

After learning about the differences between Metropolitan cities and Urban Agglomeration, refer to the below-given links for comprehensive information on the Census of India 2011 (15th Census of India), Urban Planning & Development in India. Also, learn about Smart Cities Mission in India.

Difference between Metropolitan Cities and Urban Agglomeration:- Download PDF Here

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Civil Service Exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page.

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Metropolitan Cities and Urban Agglomeration

Q 1. What is Urban Agglomeration and how is it different from Metropolitan Cities?

Ans. Census of 2011 states that a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining outgrowths (OGs), or two or more physically contiguous towns together with or without outgrowths of such towns is said to be Urban Agglomeration. It is different from a metropolitan city in terms of its population. The population of a metropolitan city varies between 1 to 5 million, whereas, an Urban Agglomeration has a minimum of 20,000 population (as per the Census of 2001)

Q 2. Which is the largest urban agglomeration in India?

Ans. As per the Indian Census of 2011, the largest Urban Agglomeration in the country is Mumbai with a population of about 18.4 million.

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