More than one half of the world population lives now in urban areas, and virtually all countries of the world are becoming increasingly urbanized. This is a global phenomenon that has nonetheless very different expressions across regions and development levels: richer countries and those of Latin America and the Caribbean have already a large proportion of their population residing in urban areas, whereas Africa and Asia, still mostly rural, will urbanize faster than other regions over the coming decades. These trends are changing the landscape of human settlement, with significant implications for living conditions, the environment and development in different parts of the world
The Population Division prepares every two years updated estimates and projections of the total and urban population for all countries or areas in the world, and has recently started to estimate further disaggregations of the urban and rural population by age and sex. The World Urbanization Prospects is a flagship publication of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.