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World urbanization prospects

The 2014 revision - highlights

image of World urbanization prospects
This report presents the highlights of the 2014 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, which contains the latest estimates of the urban and rural populations of 233 countries or areas from 1950 to 2014 and projections to 2050, as well as estimates of population size from 1950 to 2014 and projections to 2030 for all urban agglomerations with 300,000 inhabitants or more in 2014. The world urban population is at an all-time high, and the share of urban dwellers, currently at 54 per cent, is projected to represent two thirds of the global population in 2050. Continued urbanization will bring new opportunities and challenges for sustainable development.

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Policy implications

As the world continues to urbanize, sustainable development challenges will be increasingly concentrated in cities, particularly in the lower-middle-income countries where the pace of urbanization is fastest. At the same time, cities offer opportunities to expand access to services, such as health care and education, for large numbers of people in an economically efficient manner. Providing public transportation, as well as housing, electricity, water and sanitation for a densely settled population is typically cheaper and less environmentally damaging than providing a similar level of services to a predominantly rural household. Urban dwellers also have access to larger and more diversified labour markets, and enjoy healthier lives overall.

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