World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision

The twentieth century witnessed the rapid urbanization of the world’s population. The global proportion of urban population increased from a mere 13 per cent in 1900 to 29 per cent in 1950 and, according to the 2005 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, reached 49 per cent in 2005. Since the world is projected to continue to urbanize, 60 percent of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2030. The rising numbers of urban dwellers give the best indication of the scale of these unprecedented trends: the urban population increased from 220 million in 1900 to 732 million in 1950, and is estimated to have reached 3.2 billion in 2005, thus more than quadrupling since 1950. According to the latest United Nations population projections, 4.9 billion people are expected to be urban dwellers in 2030.

The Urban and Rural Population of the World, 1950-2030

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Source: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WUP2005/2005wup.htm


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