- The ratio of the world's urban population is expected to increase from 55% in 2018 (some 4.2 billion people) to 68% by 2050, which will mean that the world's urban population will nearly double.
- By 2100, some 85% of the population will live in cities, with urban population increasing from under 1 billion in 1950 to 9 billion by 2100. | Related Megatrends: Inequalities; Security; Climate change and environmental; Health
- In 2018, the most urbanized regions were: Northern America (82%), Latin America and the Caribbean (81%), Europe (74%) and Oceania (68%). While Asia has only about 50% level of urbanization, it is home to 54% of the world's urban population. Africa, with an urbanization level of 43%, at world level is on par with Europe, representing 13% of world's urban population.
- Europe's level of urbanization is expected to increase from today's 74% to about 75% in 2020 and 83.7% in 2050.
- Urban population increases considerably faster in developing regions than in the developed ones. Africa is expected to be the fastest urbanizing region, with its urban population ratio increasing from 43.5% in 2020 to 59% in 2050.
| Related Megatrends: Inequalities; Security; Climate change and environmental degradation; Health
- Most of the 43 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants projected by 2030 will be in developing regions.
- By 2025, China will have more than 220 cities with populations over 1 million and 8 megacities with over 10 million.
China's 55% urbanisation rate is expected to reach 60%, according to their $6.8 trillion “National New-type Urbanisation Plan (2014-2020)". | Related Megatrends: Geopower; Security; Consumerism
- Globally, built-up areas grow faster than populations. Over the period 1990-2014, in the BRICS, population growth was 30%, while built up area grew at 67%; across the OECD, the ratios were half: 18% for population and 32% for built-up area growth respectively.
| Related Megatrends: Geopower; Demography; Consumerism
- Unless better urban policies, over the next 20 years, the number of city dwellers might reach 5 billion (60% of the world’s population), the majority, in the developing world.
- About 50% of the world’s urban dwellers live in settlements with fewer than 500,000 inhabitants. By 2050, the number of urban dwellers might increase by an additional 416 million in India, by 255 million in China, and 189 million in Nigeria.
- One of the targets of Sustainable Development 11 "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable" is: "By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums". The 10 targets under this SDG create a framework for concentrating efforts to improve urban life for all.
| Related Megatrends: Inequalities; Security