Chennai Population 2017

Chennai has an estimated population of 4.9 million people, which ranks 6th in India.

Chennai has an estimated population of 4.9 million, with an area that has grown from 176 square kilometers to 426 square kilometers after a 2011 expansion. The urban agglomeration, which includes the city and suburbs, has a population estimated at 9 million. This makes it the 4th most populous metropolitan area in India and the 31st largest urban area in the world.

Chennai is by far the most densely populated city in Tamil Nadu, with a density of 26,553 people per square kilometers, very far ahead of the next city, Kanyakumari with 1,111/square kilometer.

Chennai Demographics

In 2001, the census from Chennai, India showed the city to have 4,343,645 citizens. This massive number was divided into 26,721 people per square kilometer. In 2011, the updated census showed that the city’s population had grown by 337,442 people – leading to a new citizen count of 4,681,087. Such massive numbers were sure to bring diversity among the people – and it did.

There are many spoken languages within this one city, with the most common languages being Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Urdu. Not only is there an abundance of different languages spoken in this region – there is also a variety of religions. Most people of faith within Chennai follow one of these religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.

Chennai has the third largest expatriate population in the country behind Mumbai and Delhi, estimated at almost 90,000. Most residents of Chennai are Tamils. 62% of migrants to the city were from other parts of the state, 34% were from other parts of India and 4% were from outside of India.

Chennai has the fourth highest population of slum dwellers in India, estimated at 820,000, or 19% of the city's total population.

Chennai History

Chennai, which was once known as Madras, is India’s 4th largest city – and the 6th most populated region in the country. Located off of the Coromandel Coast, this city was first discovered a whopping 400 years ago. Chennai sports the impressive title of being the 31st largest city in the entire world.

What is now the modern-day bustling city of Chennai used to be known as Fort St. George, which was an English settlement. People known as Vijayanagars were in charge of the region when settlement was first established – a status given to them by the Nayaks – who had control over much of India 400 years ago. One person was appointed as the man in charge of this past Chennai, who went by the name of Damarla Venkatadri Nayaka. Nayaka was also a Telugu King and a chieftain for King Peda Venkata Raya.

Chennai got its name from a small town called Chennapattanam. This village was named after Nayaka’s father, Damerla Chennappa Nayaka – who controlled many regions along the coast of India.

Chennai Population Growth

While this city continues a steady growth pattern, many of its people are categorized as “slum people” who live far below the poverty line. According to the census conducted in 2001, 820,000 citizens live in the slums, with more being added every year. Within India, slum regions are a common site. The city does well with its female to male ratio, with 1000 males for every 951 females. The density of this populous city continues to tighten every year, though the growth is much slower compared to other major cities. Ever since India’s 1947 independence, the population’s growth slowed by 3-4 percent. This does not stop the country in general from a healthy population growth rate, which is predicted to reach 50 million people by 2025. However, with birth rates continuously falling, the growth is not like the massive spikes seen in previous eras. Despite these drops, Chennai and the rest of India is expected to match China’s overall population by 2020.

Chennai Population in 2017Source: jamal haider from india

Chennai Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
Chennai Population Growth

Chennai's 2017 population is now estimated at 10,435,000. In 1950, the population of Chennai was 1,491,000. Chennai has grown by 545,000 in the last year, which represents a 5.50% change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Chennai, which typically includes Chennai's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Data Sources
  1. India Census 2011 - Chennai - Chennai district census 2011 data
  2. India Census 2011 - Chennai City - Chennai city census 2011 data