Chennai, formerly Madras, is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Located on the Coromandel Coast near the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is the largest commercial and industrial center of South India as well as a cultural, economic and educational center. It is also known as the "Detroit of India" with a thriving automotive industry.
Chennai has an estimated population of 4.9 million people, which ranks 6th in India.
City Size and Population Density
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 people per square kilometer.
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. The most common language is Tamil, spoken by about 75% of residents, followed by Telugu and English. There are several other languages spoken by migrant populations from other states who comprise very little of the population.
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, 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 also used to be known as Fort St. George, which was an English settlement. People known as Vijayanagars were in charge of the region when the 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
Chennai has a continued pattern of steady growth. Chennai has the fourth highest population of people lviing in poverty in India, estimated at 820,000, or 19% of the city's total population, according to the census conducted in 2001. 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.