Mumbai, also called Bombay, is the capital city of the state of Maharashtra in India, and it's the most populous city in India. Mumbai is 4th most populous city in the world and one of the populous urban regions in the world. The most recent census was conducted in India during 2011, which put Mumbai's Urban Agglomeration at 20,748,395, while the city itself was recorded at 12,478,447. The next national census is scheduled for 2021.
Population Size and City Size
Mumbai's urban population is estimated to be over 22 million, and the densely populated city is the largest in India in terms of population, trade activity and business. The metropolitan area has experienced an explosion in growth over the past 20 years, a common occurrence with metropolitan areas in India. The rapid population growth is attributed to migration from other regions in the country, with migrants seeking business and employment opportunities.
The population of Mumbai has more than doubled since 1991, when the census showed that there were 9.9 million people living in the area. The rapid expansion has led to serious health issues that have to be addressed by the government, and a large percentage of residents live in the city’s slums.
The total surface area that the city of Mumbai covers comes to 603 kilometers squared (233 square miles) in the megacity itself. The major metropolitan area has a total surface area of 4,355 kilometers squared (1,681.5 square miles).
Slums of Mumbai
The percentage of people living in slums is estimated to be as high as 41.3% in Greater Mumbai, meaning that over 9 million people live in these areas. The number of people residing in slums throughout the entire country is estimated to be 104 million, or 9% of the total population of India. Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai and the second largest in Asia (after Orangi Town in Pakistan). It is estimated that one million people live in Dharavi, which spans just 535 acres, has a population density of an incredible 869,565 people per square mile. There are approximately 5,000 businesses and 15,000 single-room factories in Dharavi. The slum is the most literate in the country, with a literacy rate of 69%.
Population Density of Mumbai
The population density of Mumbai is approximately 73,000 per square mile, which makes Mumbai one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Because land is at such a premium, residents of Mumbai frequently live in cheap, cramped housing far from work, leading to long commutes on the city’s busy mass transit system.
Mumbai's demographics relate to us that the city is considered a melting pot due to all of the migrants that relocate to the city for employment opportunities. Mumbai, like most metropolitan areas of India, has a large population of polyglots, and 16 major languages of India are spoken here, including Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi, along with a colloquial form of Hindi called Bambaiya.
Cultural diversity within the city means that there are mixed religions throughout the area, although Hindu is the most practiced religion, with nearly 2 out of 3 Mumbai residents identifying as Hindu. You can see the full data in the Religion section below.
42% of the population is made up of Maharashtrians and Gujaratis account for 19%, while people from other areas of the country account for the rest of the population.
Mumbai's sex ratio is skewed, and a ward-level analysis of the last Census in 2013 found that 20 of the city's 24 municipal wards had a decline in child sex ratio in the past decade. The Worli-Prabhadevi region had the highest drop in child sex ratio. For every 1,000 boys, there are just 899 girls. This gender imbalance is visible throughout Mumbai and is blamed on sex-selective abortions.
Mumbai Population Growth
Mumbai has experienced rapid growth over the past twenty years, which has led to an increased number of residents living in slums and has elevated the growth of its largest slum, Dharavi. The Malad-Dahisar region in the west and the Cembur-Govandi region in the east have grown the fastest, growing between 17 and 20% in the last 10 decades.
The north is growing much more populous as the southern regions become less inhabited, and the fast-growing areas are seeing massive ghettoization as the fastest growth is occurring in the poorest areas.
The Indian government is currently working to boost the population of the Parsi community, as they have the highest literacy rates and sex ratio in India, but their numbers are rapidly declining. Out of 1.2 billion people in India, only 69,000 are Parsis, and their numbers have been declining 12% a decade. Mumbai is still home to the largest Parsis population in the world.
By 2030, Mumbai will have an estimated population of 28 million. These estimates mean that the 6th most populous city in the world would move up the list to become the 4th most populous.