Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
Population Division. World Urbanization Prospects.
Urban Population (in 1,000s) and Percentage of Urban Population
per Continent, 1950-2030
The majority of the growth in urban population takes place in developing countries.
They will account for 93% of a 2 billion increase in the global urban
population between 2000 and 2030. Much of this growth will come in the
world's poorest countries, and many of the new urban dwellers, particularly
women and their children, will be among the poorest people in the world.
This raises issues about mobility and access to urban transportation
as a factor of development. Yet, economic growth in many developing
countries has resulted in a substantial rise in the average
level of mobility.
The above graphs indicate that there is a difference between proportions
and absolute numbers. For instance the 2000 level of urbanization
in Asia was low (36%), but the absolute number of urban dwellers makes
Asia the most urbanized region in the world with 1.35 billion urban
residents. Developed countries are still the most urbanized, but Latin
America has almost filled the gap. Even if the share of urban population
is smaller in developing countries, the number of urban dwellers is
twice as much as developed countries.