India, China, Nigeria to lead urbanization surge
The coming decades will be marked by a dramatic rise in urbanization — with India, China and Nigeria leading the charge. That’s one of several predictions in the 2014 World Urbanization Prospects report, released July 10 by the United Nations. Those countries are poised for the largest urban growth between now and 2050. India could add 404 million urbanites, followed by China (292 million) and Nigeria (212 million).
The coming population boom will have profound consequences for cities, particularly developing ones. Rapid or unplanned growth coupled with inadequate planning can result in sprawl, pollution and environmental harm, the report warns.
Despite swift urbanization, Asia and Africa are home to 90 percent of the planet’s rural population, now at 3.4 billion. As cities expand, that number may slide to 3.1 billion by 2050. An estimated 54 percent of humanity lives in urban areas today. The figure could rise to 66 percent by 2050 as cities add 2.5 billion residents. Megacities, with populations of 10 million or more, may increase from 28 in 2014 to 41 by 2030.