According to a United Nations report released on Thursday, the population of Delhi has almost doubled since 1990 and is currently at an estimated 25 million people.

Although the basis of the UN report is not yet known, the report has been received here with some amount of scepticism considering the 2011 census put Delhi’s population at 16.75 million and the overall population growth rate declined substantially due to the growth of satellite towns such as Gurgaon, Faridabad (both in Haryana state) and Noida and Ghazaibad (both in Uttar Pradesh).

The UN report places Delhi behind Tokyo, which with 38 million people continues to be the most populous city.

What is alarming is the forecast that while Tokyo’s population by 2030 would decline to 37 million, Delhi is poised to almost catch up with it with an estimated population of 36 million in the same year.

An ancient city that came up in the 6th century BC, Delhi’s witnessed the maximum 90 per cent growth in its population between 1941 and 1951 when its population grew from 917,939 in 1941 to 1.74 million in 1951, mainly on account of large scale of migration into the city that followed India’s partition in 1947
Mumbai is projected to become the fourth largest city in 2030 when its population would grow to 28 million from the current figure.

The report said that the largest urban growth will take place in India, China and Nigeria between 2014 and 2050, with the three countries accounting for 37 per cent of the projected growth of the world’s urban population.

By 2050, India is projected to add 404 million urban dwellers, way more than China’s projection of 292 million.

Asia and Africa on the other hand, have emerged as the abode of world’s largest rural population with the figures pegging at 90 percent. However, the report also added that about 56 percent of the population in Africa and 64 percent in Asia are expected to be living in urban areas by 2050.