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The twentieth century witnessed the rapid urbanization of the world’s population. The global proportion of urban population increased from a mere 13 per cent in 1900 to 29 per cent in 1950 and, according to the 2005 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects, reached 49 per cent in 2005. Since the world is projected to continue to urbanize, 60 per cent of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2030. The rising numbers of urban dwellers give the best indication of the scale of these unprecedented trends: the urban population increased from 220 million in 1900 to 732 million in 1950, and is estimated to have reached 3.2 billion in 2005, thus more than quadrupling since 1950. According to the latest United Nations population projections, 4.9 billion people are expected to be urban dwellers in 2030.

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Executive Summary

Fact Sheets

Data tables

1.
2.
Percentage of population at mid-year residing in urban areas by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
3.
Urban population at mid-year by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
4.
Rural population at mid-year by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
5.
Total population at mid-year by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
6.
Average annual rate of change of the urban population by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
7.
Average annual rate of change of the rural population by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
8.
Average annual rate of change of the total population by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
9.
Average annual rate of change of the percentage urban by major area, region and country, 1950-2030
10.
11.
The 30 largest urban agglomerations ranked by population size, 1950-2015
12.
Population of urban agglomerations with 750,000 inhabitants or more in 2005, by country, 1950-2015
13.
Population of capital cities in 2005
14.
Average annual rate of change of urban agglomerations with 750,000 inhabitants or more in 2005, by country, 1950-2015
15.
Percentage of the urban population residing in each urban agglomeration with 750,000 inhabitants or more in 2005, by country, 1950-2015
16.
Percentage of the total population residing in each urban agglomeration with 750,000 inhabitants or more in 2005, by country, 1950-2015
17.
Urban population, number of cities and percentage of urban population, by size class of settlement, major area and region, 1975-2015

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