Living Life in the City: UN DESA Announces Latest Urbanization Trends

Built Environment, News, Universal Design, July 18 2018

Skyline view at night of a large city

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

INTERNATIONAL: In today’s increasingly global and interconnected world, more and more people decide to live their lives in cities. In 2018, 55 per cent of the world’s population is residing in urban areas and by 2050, 68 per cent is projected to be urban. In the coming decades, further increases are expected both in the size of the world’s urban population and in its share of the total. The widespread growth of urban areas described in the 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, launched by UN DESA’s Population Division on 16 May 2018, highlights the importance of building sustainable cities, where growth is planned and well managed.

This latest revision includes updated information on the size of the urban and rural populations of 233 countries or areas from 1950 to 2018, with projections to 2050. In addition, it presents the trend in population size for close to 1,900 urban settlements having 300,000 inhabitants or more in 2018.

In 2018, close to half of the world’s urban dwellers reside in settlements with fewer than half a million inhabitants, while around one in eight live in 33 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants each. By 2030, the world is projected to have 43 such megacities, most of them in developing regions. Some of the fastest-growing urban areas are cities in Asia or Africa with fewer than one million inhabitants.

Tokyo, currently the world’s largest city, is part of an urban agglomeration with 37 million inhabitants. Next in size is Delhi with 29 million, then Shanghai with 26 million, and São Paulo and Mexico City, each with around 22 million inhabitants. Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing and Dhaka today have close to 20 million inhabitants each. By 2020, Tokyo’s population is projected to begin to decline, while Delhi is projected to continue growing and to become the most populous city in the world around 2028.

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Source: UN DESA Voice

Re-posted with permission

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