The size distributions of all Indian cities

Jeff Luckstead, Stephen Devadoss, Diana Danforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We apply five distributions–lognormal, double-Pareto lognormal, lognormal-upper tail Pareto, Pareto tails-lognormal, and Pareto tails-lognormal with differentiability restrictions–to estimate the size distribution of all Indian cities. Since India contains numerous small cities, it is important to explicitly model the lower-tail behavior for studying the distribution of all Indian cities. Our results rigorously confirm, using both graphical and formal statistical tests, that among these five distributions, Pareto tails-lognormal is a better suited parametrization of the Indian city size data, verifying that the Indian city size distribution exhibits a strong reverse Pareto in the lower tail, lognormal in the mid-range body, and Pareto in the upper tail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-249
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
StatePublished - May 15 2017


  • Indian city size distribution
  • Lognormal body
  • Lower-tail reverse Pareto
  • Transitions points
  • Upper-tail Pareto


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