According to the 2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospect, global urban population is expected to increase by another 2.5 billion people by 2050 from current levels of 3.9 billion or 54% of population, with the greatest growth expected in India, China and Nigeria.
The updated U.N. report notes that India, China and Nigeria will account for 37% of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2014 and 2050. By 2050, India is projected to add 404 million urban dwellers; China, 292 million; and Nigeria, 212 million.
Today, 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66% by 2050, states the report produced by the U.N. Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Projections show that urbanization , combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90% of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to the report.
The 2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects, produced by the U.N. Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, notes that the largest urban growth will take place in India, China and Nigeria. These three countries will account for 37% of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2014 and 2050.
The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014. By 2045, the world’s urban population is expected to surpass six billion. Asia, despite its lower level of urbanization, is home to 53% of the world ‘s urban population , followed by Europe with 14% and Latin America and the Caribbean with 13%. Much of the expected urban growth will take place in countries of the developing regions, particularly Africa. As result, these countries will face numerous challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban populations, including housing, infrastructure, transportation, energy and employment, as well as basic services such as education and health care.
“Managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century. Our success or failure in building sustainable cities will be a major factor in the success of the post-2015 U,N. development agenda,” said John Wilmoth, Director of the PopulationDivision in the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The report notes that there were ten “mega-cities” with 10 million inhabitants or more population in 1990, accounting for 153 million or 7% of the global urban population. And, currently, there are 28 mega-cities worldwide. These mega-cities are home to 453 million people or about 12% of the world’s urban dwellers .
Sixteen of these mega-cities are located in Asia, four in Latin America, three each in Africa and Europe, and two in Northern America. By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more, Tokyo remains the world’s largest city with 38 million inhabitants, followed by Delhi with 25 million, Shanghai with 23 million, and Mexico City, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, each with around 21 million inhabitants. Osaka has just over 20 million, followed by Beijing with slightly less than 20 million. The New York-Newark area and Cairo complete the top ten most populous urban areas with around 18.5 million inhabitants each. Although Tokyo’s population is projected to decline, it will remain the world’s largest city in 2030 with 37 million inhabitants,followed closely by Delhi, whose population is projected to rise swiftly to 36 million in 2030. While Osaka and New York-Newark were the world’s second and third largest urban areas in 1990, they are projected to fall in rank to the 13th and 14th positions, respectively, by 2030, as mega-cities in developing countries become more prominent.