Half of world’s population will live in cities by 2007
UNITED NATIONS: Half the world’s population will live in cities in two years, a huge jump from the 30 percent residing in urban areas in 1950, UN demographers reported on Wednesday.
Some 3.2 billion of the world’s 6.5 billion people live in cities today, and the number will climb to 5 billion — an estimated 61 percent of the global population — by 2030, the UN Commission on Population and Development said in a report. .
The number of very large urban areas was also rising, the commission said.
Twenty cities now have 10 million or more inhabitants, compared with just four — Tokyo, New York-Newark, Shanghai and Mexico City — in 1975 and just two — New York-Newark and Tokyo — in 1950. 50. The five biggest cities today in population are Tokyo (35.3 million), Mexico City (19.2 million), New York-Newark (18.5 million), Bombay (18.3 million) and Sao Paulo (18.3 million).
The next 15 largest cities are Delhi, Kolkata, Buenos Aires, Jakarta, Shanghai, Dhaka, Los Angeles, Karachi, Rio de Janeiro, Osaka-Kobe, Cairo, Lagos, Beijing, metropolitan Manila and Moscow.
By 2015, the five largest cities will be Tokyo with 36.2 million residents, Bombay with 22.6 million, Delhi with 20.9 million, Mexico City with 20.6 million and Sao Paulo with 20 million, the report said.
Despite the growing number of vast urban agglomerations, about half of all city dwellers live in far smaller urban areas of fewer than 500,000 inhabitants, according to the report. Urban residence patterns vary depending on an area’s development status, the commission found. About three-quarters of people in more developed regions lived in cities, while just 43 percent lived in less developed areas, it said.
Patterns also vary by region, with 75 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean living in cities compared with 40 percent of the people of Africa and Asia. reuters