The Kerala Economic Review 2014, presented in the assembly on Thursday, said the state has recorded a growth rate of 6.49 per cent in the last fiscal, which is above the national average (4.04) and the second highest among South Indian States.
It said the state’s growth rate was above that of Karnataka (5.79 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (5.97 per cent). The southern state which has the highest growth rate is Tamil Nadu (7.48 per cent).
According to the review, the service sector continues to dominate the Kerala economy which is heavily depended on overseas remittance. Segments such as transport, communication, trade, hotels, banking and insurance, and real estate have performed well.
In highly-literate Kerala, which is on a fast track towards urbanization, unemployment and mental illness is much above the national average.
The state has undergone the highest level of urbanization in its history during 2001-2011 with a percent increase of 83.82 over the previous decade. Kerala was positioned in the 19th rank in the level of urbanisation among Indian states as per the 2001 Census. But as per date of census 2011, Kerala was ranked 9th.
Generally, increase in the rate of urban population is the result of over concentration of population in the existing cities especially in metropolitan cities. But in Kerala, the main reason for the growth of urban population is the increase in the number of urban areas and also urbanization of the peripheral areas of the existing major urban centres.
The report said the effectiveness of investments in infrastructure development is considerably reduced since the scarce resources are spread too thinly throughout Kerala.
Although the state has been registering a high growth rate for quite some times now, it records the highest unemployment rate. Only small states of Nagaland and Tripura have a higher unemployment rate than Kerala. Unemployment in Kerala is found to be over three times the all India average. In Kerala, unemployment rate is much higher among females as compared to males despite remarkable women empowerment and poverty alleviation initiatives.
In mental illness and mental retardation, Kerala suffers much above the all India average. As per the census of 2011, 0.20 per cent of the Kerala population is suffering from mental illness and 0.20 per cent of population suffers from mental retardation compared to a national average of 0.06 per cent and o.12 per cent, respectively.