Around 2.5 Billion More People Will be Living in Cities by 2050

Leslie Hanson
May 17, 2018

UN, in a new report titled "2018 Revision of World Urbanisation Prospects", projected that around 2.5 billion more people would be living in cities by 2050. The level of urbanization in Asia is now approximating 50 per cent. Currently, 37 million people live in greater Tokyo, compared to 29 million in New Delhi, they are followed by Shanghai's 26 million, and Mexico City and Sao Paulo, each with around 22 million inhabitants.

The UN study, carried out by the world body's Population Division, predicts that Tokyo's population will start to decline in the coming two years and that it will be surpassed as the world's largest city by New Delhi towards 2028.

In related news, cities like Nagasaki and Busan have experienced a significant decline in their population since the start of the 21st century.

The report also projected that the world's population itself will peak in a few years and decline by 2050.

As of 2018, there are 33 megacities and by 2030, 43 megacities are projected, mostly in developing countries.

The report found that the global rural population is now close to 3.4 billion, but is expected to decline to 3.1 billion by 2050.

Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing and Dhaka are all closing in on the 20-million inhabitant mark.


The growth is caused by an accelerating shift from rural to urban living across the world, particularly in Asia, which despite hosting some of the world's largest cities has lagged behind other parts of the world in terms of overall urbanization. DESA stresses that sustainable urbanisation is essential to successful development.

In 32 years, India will be among the countries with highest growth in world's urban population, according to the United Nations.

"Many countries will face challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban populations, including for housing, transportation, energy systems and other infrastructure; as well as for employment and basic services such as education and healthcare", it noted.

The report added that linkages between urban and rural areas would need to be strengthened, building on their existing economic, social and environmental ties.

"When urban growth is rapid, ensuring access to housing, water, sanitation, electricity, public transport, education and health care for all is especially challenging", John Wilmoth, director of the Population Division, said at a United Nations news conference, according to Reuters.

Nigeria has been projected to add no fewer than 189 million people to its current population between 2018 and 2050, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), said. It has been issued regularly since 1988 with revised estimates and projections of the urban and rural populations for all countries of the world, and of their major urban agglomerations.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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