Of 247.5 million persons in this age-group, about 171 million are in rural areas and only about 76.5 million in urban areas. The urbanisation ratio among the young adults is thus around 31 per cent, which is only slightly higher than the urbanisation ratio of the total population at around 28 percent. The young adults of India are not significantly more urban than the rest of the Indian population.
The urban areas differ greatly in size, and consequently in the socio-economic profile of people living in them. Of the total urban population of India, about 27 per cent lives in cities and towns of more than a million; only these large towns, numbering about 30 in all, are probably exposed to the western culture in a serious sense. About 38 per cent of the urban population lives in towns of less than a lakh. These small towns are essentially extensions of the rural areas around them, and it is doubtful that the westernising influences have reached in these smaller towns. Thus, of the urban young adults numbering about 76.5 million in 2001, at most about two-third, or about 50 million, are likely to be exposed to the western cultural and consumerist influences, and only about one-third, numbering about 25 million, living in large cities of more than a million, are likely to be seriously committed to such life-styles. Amongst these also, the males are probably more influenced by the more decadent aspects of the western culture and life-styles than the females.
It should be noticed that as against 40 million urban men in this age group, there are only 36.5 million women. In rural areas, on the other hand, there is a slight excess of women. This is largely because adult men of this age-group are under greater pressure to migrate to the cities in search of work.
(To be continued)