The world urban population | Infographics

By |2017-10-14T16:13:01+02:00August 25th 2016|global urban debates, , , |


While 4.439 billion people were living on earth in 1980, the number had climbed to 7.349 billion in 2014. It is projected that the world’s population will grow to 9.725 billion by 2050.

Urban Population Worldwide

In 1980, 1.731 billion people worldwide, i.e. 39% of the world population were living in cities. In 2015, the number had increased to 3.968 billion (54%). According to projections, the urban share of the world population will grow to 6.419 billion (66%) by 2050.

Urban Population by Continent

The graphic compares the respective shares of the urban population by continent. While 82% of the North American population lives in cities, the same is true of only 38% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa. In between these two extremes are Latin America (80%), Europe (74%), Australia/Oceania (71%) and Asia with an urban share of 48% of their population.

Trends of Urbanisation

Projections suggest that 90% of urbanisation until the year 2050 will happen in Africa and Asia. In India, 410 million people were living in cities in 2014; according to estimates, this number will have grown to 814 million by 2050. China’s urban population counted 758 million people in 2014, and is expected to increase to 1050 million people by 2050. In Nigeria, 84 million people were living in cities in 2014; by 2050, their number will have increased to 295 million.

Cities with Highest Growth Rates

The graphic displays urban agglomerations of more than 300,000 inhabitants with the highest growth rates worldwide in the period from 2010 to 2015. The cities of Al Rayyan in Qatar and Milou in China exhibited the biggest gain in population, with +10.74% and +10.34% respectively. During the same period of time, the cities of Samut Prakan in Thailand and Hosur in India grew by about 10%. The population of Choloma in Honduras increased by 9%, while the population of Muqdisho in Somalia increased by 8.1%.

Small and Medium-Size Cities

Around 50% of the urban population worldwide, which corresponds to 1.984 billion people, lives in small or medium-size cities with less than 500,000 inhabitants.

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