Mumbai’s inequalities

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Classe(s) : Tle ES - Tle L - Tle S | Thème(s) : Southern and Eastern Asia
Corpus Corpus 2
Mumbai’s inequalities



Documents Analysis


The Maximum (and Minimum) City

Source: Mumbai Human Development Report, 2009;



[Kind of document] This document is a graphic displaying data on the two different kinds of population in the Indian city of Mumbai: the slum dwellers and those who don’t live in slums. [Source] The data comes from an “open data” website which aims at facilitating online research and presenting any kind of document to the public. The primary source is the 2009 Mumbai Human Development Report written by the Human Development Report Office, a specialized department of UNO.

[Aim of the document] The graphic is designed to show how the city of Mumbai is divided between very poor people and other inhabitants. [Historical background] This document was produced at the end of the 2000s when the Indian’s GDP per capita soared from $457 in 2000 to $1,499 in 2013.

Describe – Interpret

 The graphic shows two blocs designed in the shape of the famous Mumbai “Gateway of India” monument. On the left side of the graphic is the population living in slums, and on the right side the other inhabitants.

 By reading the graphic, we understand that there are more people in slums and that those living there consume less water than the others. They have more cases of tuberculosis, and more underweight children. The three data are part of the measures of the Human Poverty Index (HPI) for developing countries.

 There are still a lot of very poor people in Mumbai, the economic capital of India. On the 2010 Human Development Index, India ranks a low 119 out of 169 countries.


 The graphic does not show the situation in the whole Mumbai Metropolitan region: Navi Mumbai doesn’t appear. Thus, the middle-class is less represented. Moreover the graphic doesn’t show the difference between slum residents and pavement dwellers, the poorest people of Mumbai.

 The difference between middle-class people and the rich or very wealthy doesn’t appear either.


Mumbai is a “maximum city” with Antilia, the world’s most expensive ($1 billion) house, towering above the most populous slum in the world (“minimum city”).