‘India will see highest urban population rise in next 40 years’

India and China will witness unprecedented increase in their urban populations in the next four decades, posing new challenges of providing jobs, energy housing and infrastructure to their people, a U.N. report said. File photo  

India will witness the largest increase in urban population in the next four decades followed by China, a United Nations report has said.

India will add another 497 million to its urban population between 2010 and 2050, while China will see 341 million people shifting into cities, followed by Nigeria (200 million), the United States (103 million) and Indonesia (92 million), according to the U.N.'s ‘2011 Revision of the World Urbanisation Prospects' report released on Friday.

The projected increase in urban population in India and Nigeria between 2010 and 2050 will be higher than that of the past 40 years.

This trend is particularly prominent in Nigeria, where the urban population grew by only 65 million between 1970 and 2010, but is projected to increase by 200 million between 2010 and 2050 the third largest increase in urban population of all countries of the world.

In 2025, Tokyo is projected to remain the world's most populous urban agglomeration, with almost 39 million inhabitants, although the population will scarcely increase. It will be followed by Delhi with 33 million inhabitants and Shanghai in China with 28.4 million inhabitants. Mumbai would come next, with almost 27 million inhabitants. All three cities are expecting important population gains.

High rates of growth are expected in Lagos, Dhaka, and Karachi in Pakistan (all having growth rates well above 2 per cent per year).

In addition, the megacities in India (Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai) and in China (Shenzhen, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai) plus Manila are expected to grow considerably faster than those in Egypt or Turkey.

These trends are consistent with the overall differentials in fertility among the national populations.

The world urban population is highly concentrated in a few countries. In 2011, about three quarters of the 3.6 billion urban dwellers lived in 25 countries, whose populations ranged from 31 million in Ukraine to 682 million in China. China, India and the U.S. accounted for 37 per cent of the world urban population.

Most of the 25 countries with the largest urban populations are highly urbanised, but eight have levels of urbanisation ranging from 28 per cent to 51 per cent and they include some of the most populous countries in the world: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Similarly, the increases in the world urban population are concentrated in a few countries, with China and India together projected to account for about a third of the increase in the population in the coming decades.

Between 2011 and 2030, the urban areas of the world are expected to gain 1.4 billion people, including 276 million in China and 218 million in India, which account together for 37 per cent of the total increase.

Sole driver

Between 2000 and 2050, urban growth will be the sole driver of the increase in the urban population of China. In India, the urban population is expected to increase by two-thirds due to urban growth and one- third due to the overall population increase. In contrast, the urbanisation of the U.S. until 2050 will be still mainly led by an increase in the overall increase of the population

This “unprecedented” increase in urban population will provide new opportunities to improve education and public services in Africa and Asia, the report said.

It, however, warned that the trend would also “pose new challenges of providing jobs, housing, energy and infrastructure to mitigate poverty, expansion of slums and deterioration of the urban environment.”

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:24:56 PM |

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