Urbanization Trends

Topics: City, Population, Demography Pages: 2 (412 words) Published: September 23, 2010
Urbanization Trends

Urbanization can be defined as the shift from a rural to an urban society, and involves an increase in the number of people in urban areas during a particular year. Urbanization is the outcome of social, economic and political developments that lead to urban concentration and growth of large cities, changes in land use and transformation from rural to metropolitan pattern of organization and government.

Natural population increase and migration are significant factors in the growth of cities in the developing countries. The natural increase is caused by improved medical care, better sanitation and improved food supplies, which reduce death rates and cause populations to grow. In many developing countries, it is poverty that drives people from the rural areas into the city to search of employment, food, shelter and education. In Somalia, most people move into the urban areas because they are pushed out by things such as poverty, a bad environment, religious strife, political persecution, food insecurity and lack of basic services in the rural areas or because they are pulled into the urban areas by the opportunities of the city including education, electricity, water, and other things. Even though in Somalia and many other African countries the urban areas offer few jobs for the youth, they are often attracted there by the amenities of urban life (Tarver, 1996).

Available statistics show that more than half of the world’s 6.6 billion people live in urban areas, crowded into 3 percent of the earth’s land area (Angotti, 1993; UNFPA, 1993). The proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas, which was less than 5 percent in 1800 increased to 47 percent in 2000 and is expected to reach 65 percent in 2030 (United Nations, 1990; 1991). However, more than 90 percent of future population growth will be concentrated in cities in developing countries and a large percentage of this population will be poor. In Africa and Asia...

References: Tarver, J.D (1996) Demography of Africa, Westport, CT: Praeger, pp. 91-98
Angotti, T (1993) Metropolis 2000: Planning, Poverty and Politics. London, Routledge
UNFPA (1993) The State of the World, United Nations Population Fund
United Nations (1990) Human Development Report: Oxford University Press
United Nations (1991) World Urbanization Prospects, New York
United Nations (UN) (2002) Press Release, POP/815, 21 March, p 1.
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