Most peo­ple will live in cities by 2050

In­dia, China and Nige­ria will ac­count for 35% of the growth

China Daily - - WORLD -

UNITED NA­TIONS — To­day, 55 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion live in ur­ban ar­eas, a pro­por­tion that is ex­pected to in­crease to 68 per­cent by 2050, the United Na­tions said on Wed­nes­day.

Pro­jec­tions show that ur­ban­iza­tion, the grad­ual shift of peo­ple from ru­ral to ur­ban ar­eas, com­bined with the over­all growth of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, could add an­other 2.5 bil­lion peo­ple to ur­ban ar­eas by 2050, with close to 90 per­cent of this in­crease tak­ing place in Asia and Africa, ac­cord­ing to new UN data re­leased on Wed­nes­day.

The 2018 Re­vi­sion of World Ur­ban­iza­tion Prospects, pro­duced by the Pop­u­la­tion Divi­sion of the UN Depart­ment of Eco­nomic and So­cial Af­fairs, pre­dicts that future in­creases in the size of the world’s ur­ban pop­u­la­tion are ex­pected to be highly con­cen­trated in just a few coun­tries.

In­dia, China and Nige­ria will ac­count for 35 per­cent of the pro­jected growth of the world’s ur­ban pop­u­la­tion be­tween 2018 and 2050, DESA said.

By 2050, it is pro­jected that In­dia will have added 416 mil­lion ur­ban dwellers, China 255 mil­lion and Nige­ria 189 mil­lion.

The world’s ur­ban pop­u­la­tion has grown rapidly from 751 mil­lion in 1950 to 4.2 bil­lion this year.

Asia, de­spite its rel­a­tively lower level of ur­ban­iza­tion, is home to 54 per­cent of the world’s ur­ban pop­u­la­tion, fol­lowed by Europe and Africa with 13 per­cent each.

To­day, the most ur­ban­ized re­gions in­clude North Amer­ica (with 82 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in ur­ban ar­eas in 2018), Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean (81 per­cent), Europe (74 per­cent) and Ocea­nia (68 per­cent).

The level of ur­ban­iza­tion in Asia is now at about 50 per­cent. In con­trast, Africa re­mains mostly ru­ral, with 43 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in ur­ban ar­eas.

Al­though some cities in Asia and East­ern Europe have seen drops in pop­u­la­tion in the past two decades, at the global level fewer cities are pro­jected to see a de­cline un­til 2030.

The ru­ral pop­u­la­tion of the world has grown slowly since 1950 and is ex­pected to reach its peak in a few years.

The global ru­ral pop­u­la­tion is now close to 3.4 bil­lion and will to rise slightly and then de­cline to 3.1 bil­lion by 2050.

Africa and Asia were home to nearly 90 per­cent of the world’s ru­ral pop­u­la­tion in 2018 and In­dia has the largest ru­ral pop­u­la­tion (893 mil­lion).

Tokyo is the world’s largest city with about 37 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants, fol­lowed by New Delhi with 29 mil­lion, Shang­hai with 26 mil­lion, and Mex­ico City and Sao Paulo, each with around 22 mil­lion.

To­day, Cairo, Mum­bai, Bei­jing and Dhaka all have close to 20 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants.

By 2020, Tokyo’s pop­u­la­tion is pro­jected to be­gin to de­cline, while Delhi will be­come the most pop­u­lous city in the world around 2028.

By 2030, the world is pro­jected to have 43 megac­i­ties with more than 10 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants each, most of them in de­vel­op­ing re­gions.

How­ever, some of the fastest-grow­ing ur­ban ag­glom­er­a­tions are cities with fewer than 1 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants, many of them in Asia and Africa.

While one in eight peo­ple live in 33 megac­i­ties world­wide, close to half of the world’s ur­ban dwellers re­side in much smaller set­tle­ments with fewer than 500,000 in­hab­i­tants.

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