India is the world's largest democracy. The country has a total area of 3,287,263 square km. India is a rapidly developing country with urban expansion occurring at lightning speed. India has some of the world's most populous metropolitan areas. The largest metro cities in the country have been mentioned below.
10. Kanpur Metropolitan Area
The Kanpur metropolitan area is located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. It has a population of 3,549,914. The majority of the people here are from the central and western part of the state. The biggest minority groups include Punjabs and Anglo-Indians. The most commonly practiced religion is Hinduism and a small percentage of people practice Islam. This city is the administrative headquarters of the district and as such has employment available in the public sector. Despite this, many people live in poverty with roughly 8% of the population living without basic goods and services such as radios, tv’s, bicycles, and legal electricity hookups.
9. Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region
Visakhapatnam is located in the state of Andhra Pradesh in the southeastern part of India, along the Bay of Bengal. They city is located on the coast which has helped form its economy. Industries such as fishing, tourism, shipping, and mineral exports are common sources of employment here. Its location makes it an important trading center and it is the 5th busiest port in India. The population is 2,035,922 which is spread out from the coastal region to further inland. The official language is Telugu and the most common religion is Hinduism. The population is made up of Tamils, Malayalis, Sindhis, Kannadigas, Bengalis, and Odia.
8. Surat Metropolitan Region
Located in the state of Gujarat, Surat has a population of 4,591,246. The city is one of 20 selected to become a smart city, a plan to incorporate information and communication technology into public establishments such as schools, libraries, and hospitals. The population is relatively young, with 13% of people under the age of 6. Approximately 87% of the people here practice Hinduism and 7% practice Islam. The most commonly spoken languages include Gujarati, Sindhi, Hindi, Marwari, and Marathi. Its major industry is diamond polishing and the city handles around 90% of global rough diamond cutting and polishing. Other important industries include textiles, information technology, petroleum, oil and gas, and shipping.
7. Chennai Metropolitan Area
Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, has a population of 8,917,749, and is located along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The city hosts a large number of foreign tourists every year as well as the 3rd largest population of foreign residents in India. The majority of the population is made up of Tamils making Tamil one of the most common languages. In professional employment settings, English is often used. Common religions include Hinduism (80.7%), Islam (9.45%), and Christianity (7.72%). The most common employment is in the automobile, technology, and healthcare sectors. In fact, Chennai is a major health tourism destination.
6. Hyderabad Metropolitan Region
Located in southern India in the state of Telangana, Hyderabad stands upon the banks of the Musi River. Its population of 9.7 million is made up of many different ethnic groups, religions, and languages. The biggest ethnic groups are Telugu and Urdu speakers. Again, Hinduism is the most widely practiced religion, although here, the Muslim population is much bigger than in the previously mentioned cities. Approximately 30.13% of the the people in Hyderabad practice Islam. A large percentage of the population, 13%, live in poverty and inhabit the 1,476 slums in and around the city. The vast majority of employment is in the service industry which includes jobs in hospitality, tourism, retail, and hospitals (to name a few).
5. Pune Metropolitan Area
Pune, located in the state of Maharashtra, has a population of 10.1 million. This city is located on the Mutha River. Its largest industries include manufacturing, automobile, research, and education. Due to the success of these industries, Pune is among the fastest-growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region. Many people move here from rural areas in the state in search of employment. The official language is Marathi with English and Hindi also widely used. Hinduism and Islam are the most widely practiced religions.
4. Bangalore Metropolitan Region
Bangalore is located in the south-central portion of the country within the state of Karnataka. It has a population of 10,576,167. Kannada, followed by English, Hindi, Urdu, and Tamil, are the main languages spoken in Bangalore. The economy is centered around the information technology (IT) sector, which generates roughly one-third of India’s IT exports. This reliance on the IT industry has had some negative consequences on the city including an increase in real estate costs that have pushed out small businesses.
3. Kolkata Metropolitan Area
Located in the state of West Bengal, Kolkata is another heavily populated city in India. The population here has reached 14.72 million, making this city the third most populous in the country. Kolkata has a long, rich history and played a significant role in the movement for independence. Today, it is considered the cultural center of eastern India. The largest majority of the population is made up of Bengali Hindus. Bengali is the official language, English and Hindi are also widely spoken. Kolkata is a major financial, commercial, and military center for Eastern India. A large percentage of the population (40%) works in the informal sector.
2. Mumbai Metropolitan Region
Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra. The Mumbai metropolitan region has a population of 20.8 million which is made up of a diversity of ethnic groups. More than 16 languages are spoken in this city. The major religions practiced here are Hinduism (65.99%), Islam (20.65%), Buddhism (4.85%), Jainism (4.1%), and Christianity (3.27%). Approximately 62% of the population lives in informal slums as a result of widespread unemployment, poor public health and education initiatives, and high costs of real estate. One of these slums, Dharavi, is among the most densely populated areas in the world with approximately 334,728 people per square mile. In the formal sector, Mumbai provides 10% of India’s factory employment and 33% of its income tax collection.
1. National Capital Region (NCR)
The capital of India is New Delhi. It is located within the older city of Delhi in the National Capital Region. This is a vast urban area that encompasses areas within the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Haryana. Its population is estimated at 46,049,032. Delhi, an area inside of this region, is considered the 3rd most populated urban area in the world. The entire region has faced difficulties dealing with such an immense and constantly growing population. It is difficult to provide basic services over such a large area. NCR is one of the world's most polluted places. Roughly 46% of the population lives without proper water and sewage connections. The waste eventually flows into the Yamuna River. This area follows national patterns with Hinduism being the most widely practiced religion followed by Islam. The economy relies on the service industry to provide the majority of jobs here.