Delhi set to become the world's biggest city

Elias Hubbard
May 17, 2018

By 2050, two out of every three people are likely to be living in cities or other urban centres, according to a new United Nations report, highlighting the need for more sustainable urban planning and public services. In related news, cities like Nagasaki and Busan have experienced a significant decline in their population since the start of the 21st century.

Some cities in Japan, North Korea, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation and Ukraine have already lost population since 2000, it said, citing reasons such as poor economy, natural disasters, low fertility and emigration.

As for rural populations, while they have continued to grow since 1950, it is expected to reach its peak in the next few years, before declining steadily.

Tokyo with 37 million people is the world's largest city but it is due to be overtaken by Delhi around 2028, the report said.

Today, Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing and Dhaka all have close to 20 million inhabitants. The city is home to some 29 million people, and this number is set to swell in the next 10 years when the Indian capital will surpass Tokyo to become the world's most populous city.

This increased pressure is giving rise to so-called megacities - those with more than 10 million inhabitants.

"Many countries will face challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban populations, including for housing, transportation, energy systems and other infrastructure; as well as for employment and basic services such as education and healthcare", it noted.

The report found that the global rural population is now close to 3.4 billion, but is expected to decline to 3.1 billion by 2050. Also, urbanisation will play a huge role as there will be a gradual shift in the residence of the human population from rural to urban areas in Asia and Africa. There are now 33 megacities and by 2030, 43 megacities are projected, mostly in developing countries.

The report recommends governments adopt better integrated policies on infrastructure and social services to improve the lives of urban and rural dwellers.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that the National Population Commission (NPC) had put Nigeria's current population at 198 million people with urban population growing at an average annual growth rate of about 6.5%.

Smaller towns with populations under 1 million (Tier 2 and 3 cities in India) people will see the biggest population explosions, according to this year's study. It has been issued regularly since 1988 with revised estimates and projections of the urban and rural populations for all countries of the world, and of their major urban agglomerations.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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