What are metropolitan cities? How are they different from urban agglomerations?


What are metropolitan cities? How are they different from urban agglomerations? 

(NCERT class 12 geography, India People and Economy, Chapter 4: Human Settlement.)


Indian population census classified urban centers into six classes based on the population size.

The urban center which has more than 1 lakh size population is called a class-one town. About 60 % of the total urban population of India lives in the class-one town.

  • Population between 1 lakh to five million are called metropolitan cities. 
  • Population with more than 5 million is called megacities. 
  • Urban agglomerations are also urban settlements that are formed by either combination of the following three things:
  • A town and outgrowth of the town.
  • Two or more towns with or without their outgrowth areas.
  • One city and nearly by towns with or without outgrowth of towns.
  • The majority of metropolitan and megacities are urban agglomerations. 

Difference between the metropolitan city and urban agglomerations:

  • Metropolitan cities are simply defined by the population size( 1 lakh to 50 lakh population ) whereas urban agglomeration is not based on the specific population size( but it must be urban settlements)  but is based on the outgrowth of town and influences of other towns.
  • An urban agglomeration is just a stage of city growth over time and space dimensions.
  • Metropolitan is smaller in size as compared to the urban agglomeration( of the same metropolitan's urban agglomeration).
  • For example, Thane is an example of a Metropolitan city and it is part of Mumbai's Urban agglomeration.
  • Mumbai's size and population are much more than Thane

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