Get ready to witness an epic clash of the titans as we dive headfirst into the age-old rivalry between two of India’s most iconic cities: Delhi and Mumbai. As passionate residents of these vibrant metropolises fiercely defend their turf, it’s time to put on our detective hats and dive deep into the essence of each city.
Delhi, the heart of the nation, welcomes you with its rich history, magnificent monuments, and mouthwatering street food. But hold on tight because Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, beckons with its electrifying energy, Bollywood dreams, and a sea breeze that whispers tales of ambition.
Join us as we compare the two titans on various fronts – culture, food, people, and everything in between. We’ll navigate through the bustling streets, savor the spicy flavors, and feel the pulse of these dynamic urban giants.
So, dear readers, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for an exhilarating showdown of Delhi vs. Mumbai, where we’ll ultimately decide which city deserves the crown of being India’s finest!
Delhi Vs. Mumbai Comparison Which city is better to live in?
1. Historical and Cultural Background
Delhi: Delhi, the vibrant capital of India, boasts a history that stretches back over millennia. Its roots can be traced to the ancient Indraprastha, a legendary city mentioned in the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Throughout history, Delhi has been witnessing the rise and fall of several empires, including the Mauryas, Guptas, Delhi Sultanate, and Mughals.
Delhi's Historical and Cultural Significance:
- Chosen as the capital of India in 1911 due to its central location and historical importance.
- A melting pot of diverse cultures, languages, and traditions, reflecting its status as India’s political nerve center.
- Boasts a unique blend of old and new, with ancient temples coexisting alongside modern skyscrapers and bustling bazaars.
Mumbai: On the other hand, Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, has a more recent history as a significant financial and commercial hub of India. Originally a cluster of islands inhabited by fishing communities, Mumbai gained prominence when the Portuguese and later the British East India Company established trading posts here.
Mumbai's Historical and Cultural Significance:
- As India’s largest port city, Mumbai played a crucial role in colonial trade, linking the subcontinent with the rest of the world.
- The city’s entrepreneurial spirit and cosmopolitan nature led to rapid industrialization, making it the financial powerhouse it is today.
- Home to Bollywood, India’s dynamic film industry, contributing to its diverse and lively cultural landscape.
2. Infrastructure and Development
Delhi: The sprawling metropolis of Delhi grapples with the challenges of accommodating its burgeoning population. While the city boasts a well-established transportation system, including an extensive network of buses and a developing metro rail network, the rapid urbanization has put immense pressure on these services.
Delhi Public Infrastructure:
- Transportation in Delhi comprises a mix of options, including the Delhi Metro, buses, and auto-rickshaws, making it one of the better-connected cities in India.
- The city’s road network is extensive but often faces congestion and traffic jams due to the high volume of vehicles.
- According to the Socio-Economic Survey report, 70% of Delhi's residents use public transport services such as buses, charter buses and metro to commute to work.
- Only 0.3% of the total working population is dependent on using private vehicles, while the other 11.15% of the population is mainly dependent on cabs, e-rickshaws, and taxis.
- In the same report, as of 2021, 73% of the total working-class population of Delhi uses public transport for hospital related emergencies.
- Delhi has witnessed extensive urban planning over the years, but it has also struggled with issues like unauthorized colonies and slums, affecting the city’s aesthetics and infrastructure.
- According to a breakdown of the government's annual budget for public infrastructure development, about Rs 334 crores were dedicated to rural development and Rs 3,038 for urban development including better sanitation, water supply, promoting culture, social and family welfare and housing.
- The government has undertaken initiatives to develop satellite towns and enhance connectivity with surrounding regions, aiming to decongest the city center.
Mumbai: As the financial and commercial capital of India, Mumbai stands tall with its well-established infrastructure. The city’s lifeline, the suburban railway system, caters to millions of commuters daily, earning its nickname as the “lifeline of Mumbai.”
Mumbai's Public Infrastructure:
- Although the road infrastructure is well-maintained, the city grapples with perennial traffic congestion, especially during peak hours.
- Public services in Mumbai have made significant strides, with top-tier hospitals, educational institutions, and cultural centers accessible to its residents.
- In 2022, 38 e-challans were issued of traffic related disturbances caused by rash and drunk driving, but the same has seen a steep incline with he number increasing to 539.
- According to Tom Tom's Overview report, it takes about 25 minutes and 20 seconds to drive 10km in Mumbai on a regular day.
- Approximately 84 extra hours are spent by commuters driving through the congested roads of Mumbai in 2022.
- Urban planning in Mumbai faces unique challenges due to space constraints and the city’s island geography. High-rise buildings dominate the skyline as a result of vertical development to accommodate the growing population.
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has allocated a total budget of Rs 76,432 crores for urban development, particularly metro projects.
- The city’s development initiatives have focused on expanding business districts like Bandra-Kurla Complex and creating more green spaces for recreation and environmental conservation.
3. Economy and Job Opportunities
Delhi: Delhi has a diverse and resilient economy, with a mix of industries contributing to its growth. The city serves as a major hub for government offices, administrative functions, and diplomatic missions, thanks to its status as the national capital.
Delhi's Economy and Job Market:
- Delhi’s economy is the 13th largest among Indian states and union territories.
- Booming entertainment industry, Bollywood, contributing to job prospects in media, entertainment, and related fields.
- In 2020-21, the tertiary sector contributed 85% of Delhi’s GSDP, followed by the secondary and primary sectors at 12% and 3%, respectively.
- The services sector recorded an annual growth rate of 7.3%.
- Delhi is the largest commercial center in northern India.
- As of 2021, recent estimates of the economy of the urban area of Delhi ranged from $370 billion (PPP metro GDP) to $272.603 billion (Nominal GDP), ranking it either the most or second-most productive metro area of India.
- The Port and Shipping industry plays a vital role in trade and commerce, further diversifying the city’s economic prospects.
Mumbai: Mumbai’s economic landscape is dominated by its role as India’s financial capital. It houses the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and numerous multinational corporations, making it a magnet for finance, banking, and investment sectors.
Mumbai's Economy and Job Market:
- The finance and banking sectors in Mumbai provide lucrative opportunities for finance professionals, accountants, investment bankers, and analysts.
- Mumbai’s job market experienced significant growth in the first half of 2023.
- Over 45,000 job opportunities were posted on apna.co, indicating a robust employment landscape and the city’s appeal to professionals seeking new career prospects.
- The entertainment industry, centered around Bollywood, offers diverse job prospects in acting, production, direction, and various technical roles, attracting talent from all over the country.
- Mumbai’s media and advertising sectors are also significant contributors to its job market, with opportunities in journalism, advertising, public relations, and content creation.
- The number of employers in Mumbai increased by 30% in the first half of 2023, with around 10,000 new employers joining the platform compared to the previous year.
- A total of 2.5 million job applications were received, with women contributing to about 38% of the total applications, indicating a strong demand for employment opportunities and active female workforce participation in the city.
4. Cost of Living and Housing
Delhi: The cost of living in Delhi varies significantly based on the neighborhood and lifestyle preferences. As the capital city, certain areas can be quite expensive, particularly those in close proximity to government offices and commercial centers. However, Delhi also offers more affordable living options in its suburban areas and outskirts.
Delhi's Cost of Living and Housing Options:
- Delhi generally has a lower cost of living compared to Mumbai, making it an attractive option for those seeking a more affordable lifestyle.
- The estimated cost of living for a family in Delhi in 2023 is estimated to be about Rs 109,132.9 without rent.
- A single person is estimated to spend about Rs 31,993 to live in Delhi city.
- Property cost estimates in South Delhi is around Rs 13,950/ sq.ft on average.
- Daily expenses, including transportation, food, and entertainment, are relatively reasonable in Delhi, providing residents with a broader range of options within their budgets.
- Delhi offers a more varied housing market with a mix of residential options, including apartments, independent houses, and gated communities. While some areas may have higher rental prices, there are also more affordable neighborhoods suitable for budget-conscious individuals and families.
Mumbai: Mumbai is notorious for its high cost of living, ranking among the most expensive cities in India. Accommodation, in particular, can be exorbitant, especially in areas like South Mumbai and central locations.
- Mumbai, on the other hand, is known for its higher cost of living, especially in terms of housing and daily expenses.
- The cost of dining out, entertainment, and social activities in Mumbai tends to be higher due to the city’s vibrant and fast-paced lifestyle.
- The estimated cost of living for a family of four is Rs. 1,10,857 without rent, but an individual, it is believed to be approximately Rs. 35,000.
- Mumbai’s housing market is notorious for its exorbitant real estate prices and limited availability of affordable housing options. The demand for space in the densely populated city often drives rental and property costs higher.
- Due to the presence of numerous businesses and industries, Mumbai has the highest costs of living in India, especially when considering the expenses associated with rent.
5. Education and Healthcare
Delhi: Delhi’s educational infrastructure encompasses a robust network of schools, colleges, and universities, making it a thriving educational hub. The city boasts renowned educational institutions like Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and the Indian Institute of Technology, attracting students from across the country and beyond.
Education and Healthcare Facilities in Delhi:
- The current literacy rate of Delhi is 86.34%.
- Delhi has a total of 5798 schools.
- 25% of seats in private schools are reserved for underprivileged children.
- Tertiary education is managed by the Directorate of Higher Education.
- Delhi NCR has approximately 500,000 university students attending over 165 universities and colleges.
- In 2023-24, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been allocated Rs 89,155 crore, this represents a 13% increase over the revised estimates for 2022-23.
- The Department of Health and Family Welfare receives Rs 86,175 crore, accounting for 97% of the Ministry’s expenditure.
- The Department of Health Research has been allocated Rs 2,980 crore.
Mumbai: The city houses prestigious educational institutions such as the University of Mumbai, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, offering numerous academic opportunities. Mumbai’s schools encompass a mix of government, private, and international schools, ensuring accessibility to quality education for all strata of society.
Education and Healthcare Facilities in Mumbai:
- The total number of literates in Mumbai city is 10,084,507.
- Out of the total literates, 5,633,709 are males, and 4,450,798 are females.
- The average literacy rate in Mumbai city is 89.73 percent.
- The male literacy rate is 92.56 percent, while the female literacy rate is 86.39 percent.
- The Central Government has two major policies for healthcare infrastructure: Ayushman Bharat and The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
- When analyzing the number of deaths registered in Mumbai, 1,12,906 total deaths were registered in 2020 of which, only 10% (11,116) were COVID deaths.
- Excluding COVID deaths, the total number of fatalities registered in Mumbai has increased by 12%; from 91,223 in 2019 to 1,01,790 in 2020.
- Ayushman Bharat aims to create 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) to provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC) by transforming PHCs/SCs.
- The National Building Code (NBC) regulations have been incorporated in the Greater Mumbai Report on Draft Development Plan 2034, recommending 1 dispensary for every 15,000 population.
6. Safety and Security
Delhi: Delhi’s safety and security situation have been a matter of concern, with varying crime rates across different areas of the city. While Delhi offers a vibrant urban experience, it also grapples with higher crime rates compared to some other Indian cities. Crimes such as petty theft, street harassment, and cases of violence have been reported, particularly in certain localities.
Crime Rates in Delhi:
- According to the statistical report submitted by the National Crime Records Bureau, Crime in India, Delhi was ranked as the second most unsafe city in India.
- There has been a 15% rise in the number of crimes registered in Delhi in 2022 in comparison to 2021.
- The crimes against women in Delhi rose by 2% between the two years, but the reporting of these crimes have also seen a significant increase.
- In Delhi, there were 1,53,802 arrests in 2021 compared with 1,32,261 in 2020, under special laws and juveniles.
Mumbai: Mumbai is often considered one of the safer cities in India. While it is not completely free from crime, Mumbai’s overall safety situation is relatively better than many other metropolitan areas. The city’s strong sense of community and vigilant citizens contribute to its safer environment. Law enforcement in Mumbai, led by the Mumbai Police, has been proactive in ensuring public safety and maintaining law and order.
Crime Rates in Mumbai:
- Mumbai's crime Index in 2023 is at 44.95 while the safety index is slightly higher at 55.05.
- Mumbai is considered a safe city to be walking alone during daylight, while the safety index of walking alone at night is 54.13, coming to a moderate level of safety.
- Crime rates in Mumbai have dipped by 14% in 2022 in comparison to 2021, but the overall crime graph of the city has seen an increase in 9%.
- Following the pandemic, the number of cases of thefts in city has risen three-fold times to 14, 818 to 4,534 in 2021.
- Unfortunately for the city, theft, attacks, molestation and robbery have seen a 100% increase in 2022.
The End Result Is Really Up To You!
In the timeless tussle of Delhi versus Mumbai, one thing is abundantly clear both cities boast their own unique charm and spirit, leaving us grappling with an eternal conundrum of choosing the better one. But perhaps, that’s the beauty of it all the never-ending debate, the friendly banter, and the pride each city’s residents hold for their beloved home.
Delhi, with its historical grandeur and mouthwatering culinary delights, offers an intoxicating blend of tradition and modernity. On the other hand, Mumbai, with its bustling energy and dreams-come-true allure, embraces everyone with open arms.
In the end, the choice between Delhi and Mumbai lies in the eyes of the beholder. Whether you crave the bustling streets of Mumbai or the regal monuments of Delhi, both cities have an undeniable magnetism that captivates hearts.