Chapters :

Human Settlement – 02

Dispersed Settlements:

This is also known as isolated settlements. Here the settlement is characterized by units of small size which may consist of a single house to a small group of houses. It varies from two to seven huts. Therefore, in this type, hamlets are scattered over a vast area and does not have any specific pattern. Such type of settlements is found in tribal areas of central part of India covering Chhota Nagpur plateau, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc. Such patterns are also common in the hills of north Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There are three factors that influence the type of settlements in India. These factors
  1. Physical
  2. Ethnic or cultural and 
  3. Historical or defence. 
(i) Physical Factors:

These include relief, altitude, soil capability, climate, drainage, ground water level, etc. These factors influence the type and spacing of dwelling or instance, in dry regions of Rajasthan, water is a crucial factor and, therefore, houses are situated along a pond or well which guides the compactness of the settlement. (ii) Ethnic and Cultural Factors:

These include aspects like caste, community, ethnicity and religion. In India it is commonly found that the main land owning caste resides at the centre of the village and the other service providing castes on the periphery. This leads to social segregation and fragmentation of a settlement into several units
(iii) Historical or Defence Factors:

In the past, mostly border areas of north western plains were conquered or attacked frequently by outsiders. For a long time, apart from attack from outsiders, there had been continuous fight between princely states and kingdom within the country therefore; security concerns favoured the evolution of nucleated settlements. URBAN SETTLEMENTS: In recent past urban settlements are growing rapidly. Urban population increased from 3% in 1800 to 52% in 2011. INDIA According to the census of India urban areas are those which satisfy the conditions given below: (a) All places with a municipality corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee etc.  (b) All other places which satisfy the following criteria: (i) A minimum population of 5000; (ii) At least 75 percent of male working population engaged in non-agricultural sector;  (iii) A density of population of at least 4,000 persons per square km. Urban agglomeration may consist of any one of the three combinations given below: (i) A town and its adjoining urban outgrowth; (ii) Two or more contiguous towns with or without their outgrowths; and (iii) A city and one or more adjoining towns with their outgrowths together forming continuous stretch.

Examples of urban outgrowths are university campus, cantonment area, port area seaport and airport, railway colonies, etc. But, one should remember that these towns are not always permanent. In each census, towns are subjected to de-classification and re-classification based on the prevailing condition at that particular time.


Classification based on Population Size
  1. Town Places which have less than one lakh population
  2. City Urban centres having population between one lakh to one million.
  3. Metropolitan Cities having population in between one million to five million
  4. Mega cities having more than 5 million population
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