India, China lead population surge

2012-04-06 09:01

New York - Africa and Asia are the continents that will see the fastest urban population growth in the next 40 years, a UN report said on Thursday, noting that India and China are leading the surge.

The population of African cities will almost treble from 414 million now to more than 1.2 billion by 2050, while Asia will grow from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion in that period, said the UN department of economic and social affairs.

When combined, Africa and Asia will represent 86% of the growth in the world's urban population in the next 40 years, the "World Urbanisation Prospects" report said.

The report's authors said such rapid population growth should open up new opportunities in education for Africans and Asians but it will also pose challenges in housing, employment, energy and the environment.

The biggest rise in an urban population is expected to occur in India, which is forecast to jump 497 million, followed by China (up 341 million), while Nigeria will see its numbers in cities rise around 200 million.

India's population, the world's second biggest at 1.2 billion, is set to surpass China's by 2025, according to separate data.

The United States will likely see an urban population increase of 103 million by 2050, while the emerging Asian nation Indonesia will grow by around 92 million people, the UN report said on Thursday.

The authors also warned of dangers posed to such large population centers, noting that of 450 areas containing more than one million people (totaling 1.4 billion residents in 2011), 60% are situated in regions exposed to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods.

Asia is the most exposed region for such climactic events, whereas Africa and Europe are least at risk, the report said.

  • Douglas - 2012-04-06 13:23

    As humanity developed innovative ways to not only survive, but thrive and live longer, so the global population has exploded. This is at the heart of all our impending woes - a soaring demand for not only food and water, but fuel and electricity to produce and power our cars, phones, tablets, plasma tv's and the like. Ultimately, our footprint on this earth has been shown to be unsustainable. For instance, studies have shown that, in order to live the way we do today and be sustainable, we would need 3 Earths! Sadly, we presently have only one. Furthermore, the natural resources we consume in a year took 18 months to bring into being. Does this sound sustainable? In fact, it's a recipe for disaster. And we haven't even touched on climate change yet. Right now, it seems we will be hard pressed to keep global temperature rises (as compared to pre-industrial times) to below 3C by the end of this century. If this is true, our children are in trouble! Instead of bickering about the possible causes of climate change, or mankind's contribution towards it, we should take a collective stance against what could be humanity's gravest threat yet. We could live the way we do now, and not send the climate into overdrive, IF we only had 2 billion people on the planet. Unfortunately, we have 3.5 times that. I hate to sound like a prophet of doom, but it seems that something is bound to give. And it won't be the planet. We need to start getting serious about population control.

      Fidel - 2012-04-06 13:31

      The western world is overdeveloped, it must in conjunction with China slow down.

      Keith - 2012-04-06 18:48

      Fidel, how are you going to stop overdevelopment?

      Fidel - 2012-04-06 19:36

      I said slow down and not STOP. This could be achieved by concentrating the available world resources to places that are under-developed and need them most. The pathological mindset of exploiting men and natural resources for profit needs to stop as well.

      sterling.ferguson.397 - 2013-03-16 16:01

      If one takes a look at most of the African governments, one will find that there is no programs to increase the food production nor is there a program to lower the population growth. These people in the undeveloped countries are having a lot of children because they don't work eight to ten hours a day. These people are well rested to make babies that they can't feed. Studies have shown that when people worked very hard that their sperm count goes down. There is no way a person can work all of those long hours and keep four wives happy like they are trying to do in Africa.

  • sterling.ferguson.397 - 2013-03-16 15:40

    @Fidel, you might disagree with this study, but you aren't giving a scientific proof why you don't agree with this study. Actually, you are saying the people in the developed world like the US should change their life style and the people in Africa shouldn't to decrease their population. A study was done on Nigeria twenty years ago about the population growth in Nigeria, and the population of Nigeria is where the study said it would be 160 millions.

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