SURAT: Here is one more proof that youth of the nation are drivers of its economic growth. Surat, the city with fastest GDP growth and richest households nationally, is also the city with the maximum youth in the country.
Even as the world celebrates International Youth Day on Tuesday, a study by National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and Roopa Purshothaman of Future Capital Research says that 73.8 per cent of Surat's population is below 35 years.
Effectively, nearly 33 lakh of the 45 lakh people living in Surat are youngsters, pushing up Surat's growth. Ahmedabad, the only other city from Gujarat in the study of 20 cities, has finished 14th.
Experts say migrants have injected the energy of youth into the city.
As Akash Acharya, 33, of Centre for Social Studies in Surat, puts it: "Only people in the working age migrate in large numbers and take advantage of the city's industrial growth."
He adds that the city will continue to be the youngest for some time. "Once migrants grow older, they go back home and more migrants come in. This factor will help the city keep growing."
Interestingly, it is not just industrial labourers migrating here. Among the few young Turks to make Surat their home is Vardan Kabra, 34, an IIM-A graduate who has started a school in the city. "When I came here five years ago, I saw that the city was growing very fast and it had good infrastructure. I chose to stay back."
Kabra adds he chose Surat for its proximity to both Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Like Kabra, IIT-Mumbai graduate Amit Saraf also came to city to start a beauty saloon. "I was drawn to Surat by its economic environment. It's affordable to start a new business here."
6 months ago