MADURAI: Kanyakumari district has rapidly marched towards urbanisation over the past decade and emerged as the second most urbanised district in the State, next only to Chennai and ahead of Coimbatore. The district also tops in literacy rate among both rural as well as urban population in Tamil Nadu.
The Census 2011 provisional data on rural-urban distribution of population in Tamil Nadu released on Tuesday revealed that 82.47 per cent of the population in Kanyakumari district was concentrated in urban areas. While Chennai has a cent per cent urban population, Coimbatore comes a distant third with 75.83 per cent of its population living in urban localities. In 2001, only 65.27 per cent of Kanyakumari was urbanised much behind Coimbatore which had an urban population of 70.70 per cent then. However, over a period of 10 years, urbanisation grew by an impressive 17.2 per cent in the southern district. The variation between rural and urban population in the district between 2001 and 2011 is also the lowest at (-) 43.89 per cent. Interestingly, in Thoothukudi too urbanisation has grown from 41.74 per cent to 50.15 per cent resulting in the second lowest variation (-6.62) in rural-urban population during the 10 year period. In Madurai, the urbanisation has been slower. Its urban population has now increased to 60.64 per cent from 56.01 per cent, which was recorded in Census 2001. As for the literacy rates in the districts, the provisional data put Kanyakumari on top with 90.25 per cent in rural areas and 92.40 per cent among the urban population. Thoothukudi district came second with a literacy rate of 82.57 per cent among its rural population and 90.46 per cent among urban population. The two districts also figured among the top three in terms of female literacy rate. Chennai, the only complete urban city in the State, comes third with a literacy rate of 90.33 per cent.