Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


Majority of World's Population
Will Live in Urban Centres by 2015,
UN Report Says

Excerpted from the Canadian Press
Friday, November 10, 1995

A majority of the world's population will live in crowded urban areas in 30 years, with some cities becoming magnets for the homeless and pools of infection for resurgent diseases, the United Nations says.

The grim prognosis is contained in the Global Report on Human Settlements, to be issued in early 1996 by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. With urban populations growing 2.5 times faster than the rural population, the report draws a grim picture of housing shortages and poor housing conditions, perfect breeding places for diseases.

There will be 500 million urban people who will be totally homeless unless governments come to recognize that lack of housing leads to social costs that are much worse.

Projections show that by 2015 all 10 of the world's largest cities will be in Asia, Latin America and Africa, and of those only one, Tokyo, will be in an advanced developed country.

The list of the 10 largest urban areas in the year 2015 is:

  1. Tokyo, 28.7 million;

  2. Bombay, 27.3 million;

  3. Lagos, 24.4 million;

  4. Shanghai, 23.4 million;

  5. Jakarta, 21.2 million;

  6. Sao Paulo, 20.8 million;

  7. Karachi, 20.6 million;

  8. Beijing 19.4 million;

  9. Dhaka, 19 million;

  10. and Mexico City, 18.8 million.

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Revised October 20, 1996

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture