India is a large country comprising of 28
states and 7 union territories. These states and the union territories are
divided into districts. At the time of Census 2001 there were in all 593
districts against 467 districts at the time of 1991 Census. Each district is
further divided in to sub-districts, which are known differently in different
parts in the country (e.g., tahsil, taluka, community development (CD) block,
Police station, Mandal, revenue circle, etc.).
The lowest primary administrative units of administration are
the villages in rural areas and towns in urban areas. At the time of Census
2001, there were about 6.39 lakh villages in the country, out of which about
44,856 have been uninhabited villages. The villages are of different sizes in
terms of population depending upon the geography of the area, availability of
land and water, etc. The population living in the villages comprises the rural
population of the country.
The number of towns in the country at the time of Census 2001
was 5,161. The towns include statutory towns (as notified by government) and
census towns as identified by the census organization on the basis of well
defined criteria. When towns grow in are and population, the areas adjoining
the notified core town(s) also may acquire urban characteristics. Therefore,
for proper representation, the Census also provides data on the Urban
Agglomerations (UAs), which comprise core town(s) and its outgrowths meeting
the urban characteristics. Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai are examples of such
Urban Agglomerations. There are 384 Urban Agglomerations in the country. The
number of UAs and towns at the Census 2001 was 4,378. The population living in
the urban areas comprises the urban population of the country.
All the villages and towns usually form part
of a sub – district. There are however towns which extend beyond the
limits of a district (e.g., Delhi, Srinagar, etc.). There are a few districts
that are fully urban (Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc.) and a few
districts that are fully rural.
Census data are made available for the country as a whole and
by state, union territory, district, sun-district, UA and town. For a few
important characteristics, these are also made available down to village level
in rural areas and ward level in towns.