World Statistics Day: A Look at Urbanisation
Largest city: Karachi, Pakistan is the world’s largest city with a population of 15.5 million in 2010. Shanghai, China is second with 14.9 million, followed by Mumbai, India with 13.9 million. (CityMayors)
- Quality of life: Vienna, Austria offers the best quality of life, according to the Quality of Living Survey by Mercer Consulting. The Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva rank second and third, respectively. (CityMayors)
Most expensive: Luanda, Angola is the most expensive big city in the world, according to Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey for 2010. Tokyo, Japan and Ndjamena, Chad rank second. This year’s survey of the world’s most expensive cities includes ten from Africa. (CityMayors)
- Liveability: The three most liveable cities in the world are, in order: Vancouver, Canada; Vienna, Austria; and Melbourne, Australia, according to a 2010 liveability survey by the London-based Economist Intelligent Survey (EIU). At the bottom of the list are Algiers, Algeria; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Harare, Zimbabwe. (CityMayors)
- Thriving after the global downturn: New York City is faring well in comparison to other global cities following the economic downturn of 2008, according to the Cities of Opportunity report from Price-Waterhouse Cooper. Along with London, Paris and Tokyo, New York dominates the report index in “power” indicators such as economic clout, intellectual capacity, technology and innovation, and lifestyle assets. (CityMayors)
- The iPod index: An average wage-earner in New York City or Zurich, Switzerland can buy an 8 GB Apple iPod Nano after nine hours of work. In contrast, it takes an average wage-earner in Mumbai, India 177 hours – nearly a month’s salary – to buy the same iPod. (CityMayors)
- For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s people live in cities.
- Nearly two billion new urban residents are expected in the next twenty years.
- Over 90 per cent of urban growth is occurring in developing countries, which add an estimated 70 million new urban residents each year.
- By 2030 all developing regions, including Asia and Africa, will have more people living in urban than rural areas.
- The urban population of the world’s two poorest regions, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, is expected to double over the next 20 years.
- Cities account for some 70 per cent of global GDP.
- No country has grown to middle-income status without industrialising and urbanising.
- In Latin American cities, poor or inadequate infrastructure is estimated to have reduced urban economic output by 10 to 15 per cent.
- In China, 50 per cent of GDP is generated in coastal urban areas, which represent 20 per cent of the country’s territory.
- Rural-to-urban migration is just one of the three drivers of urbanisation, accounting for about 25 per cent of urban population growth. The other two factors are natural population increases and the reclassification of rural areas into urban ones. (Commission of Growth and Development, 2009)
- Youth are 40 per cent more likely than older generations to move from rural to urban areas or across urban areas. (UN-HABITAT)