Facts and Figures
In 2000, world population reached 6.1 billion,
and is growing at an annual rate of 1.2 per
cent, or 77 million people per year.
In 1950, 68% of the world’s population was
in developing countries, with 8% in least
2030, it is expected that 85% of the world’s
population will be in developing countries,
with 15% in LDCs.
The other side of the coin is that the percentage
of the world’s population that lives in developed
countries is declining, from 32% in 1950 to
an expected 15% in 2030.
2050, the number of persons older than 60
years will more than triple, from 606 million
today to nearly 2 billion. The number
of persons over 80 years of age will increase
even more, from 69 million in 2000 to 379
million in 2050, more than a five-fold increase.
Global Facts and Figures
In 1800, only 2% of the world’s population
In 1950, only 30% of the world population
2000, 47%. of the world population was urban
More than half of the world’s population will
be living in urban areas by 2008
2030, it is expected that 60% of the world
population will live in urban areas.
180,000 people are added to the urban population
It is estimated that there are almost a billion
poor people in the world, of this over 750
million live in urban areas without adequate
shelter and basic services.
The population in urban areas in less developed
countries will grow from 1.9 billion in 2000
to 3.9 billion in 2030.
But in developed countries, the urban population
is expected to increase very slowly, from
0.9 billion in 2000 to 1 billion in 2030.
The overall growth rate for the world for
that period is 1 per cent, while the growth
rate for urban areas is nearly double, or
1.8 percent. At that rate, the world’s
urban population will double in 38 years.
will be even more rapid in the urban areas
of less developed regions, averaging 2.3 per
cent per year, with a doubling time of 30
urbanisation process in developed countries
has stabilised with about 75% of the population
living in urban areas. By 2030, 84% of the
population in developed countries will be
living in urban areas.
America and the Caribbean were 50% urbanized
by 1960 but are now in the region of 75%.
Africa is predominantly rural, with only 37.3
% living in urban areas in 1999, with a growth
rate of 4.87%, Africa is the continent with
the fastest rate of urbanisation.
1999, 36.2% of the Asian population was urbanised
and the urban growth rate is in the region
urban population of developing countries is
expected to reach 50% in 2020.
2030, Asia and Africa will both have higher
numbers of urban dwellers than any other major
area of the world.
Agglomerations, or More Mega Cities
1950, there was only one city with a population
of over 10 million inhabitants: New
By 2015, it is expected that there will be
23 cities with a population over 10 million.
the 23 cities expected to reach 10 million
plus by 2015, 19 of them will be in developing
2000 there were 22 cities with a population
of between 5 and 10 million; there were 402
cities with a population of 1 to 5 million;
and 433 cities in the .5 to 1 million category.
facts and figures about conditions in human
settlements from UNCHS (Habitat)’s the State
of the World’s Cities: 2001
75% of the world’s countries have constitutions
or national laws that promote the full and
progressive realisation of the right to adequate
of countries in the world have constitutions
or national laws that protect against forced
in cities of developing countries need an
average of 8 times their annual income to
buying a house; in Africa, they need an average
of 12.5 times their annual income, while in
Latin America, they only need 5.4 times their
annual income. The highest rents are in the
Arab States, where a household spends an average
of 45% of its monthly income on rent.
out of every four countries in the developing
world have constitutions or national laws
which prevent women from owning land and/or
taking mortgages in their own names. Customary
or legal constraints to women owning land
or property are highest in Africa, the Arab
States, Asia and Latin America.
estate costs are highest in Asia and the Pacific
where one square metre of land for a serviced
plot costs an average of US$ 3.1. Africa
is at the lowest end of the real estate market
with an average price of US$ 0.15 per square
than 20% of households in Africa are connected
to piped water and only 40% have access to
water within 200 meters of their house.
5.8% of children in cities of the developing
world die before reaching the age of five
of cities in the developing world have areas
considered as inaccessible or dangerous to
the police. In Latin America and the Caribbean,
this figure is 48 %.
cities of the developing world, one out of
every four households lives in poverty. 40%
of African urban households and 25% of Latin
American urban households are living below
the locally defined poverty lines.
City dwellers in Africa only use 50 litres
of water per person per day. The highest
median price of water is also highest in Africa.
? In highly industrialised countries, almost
100% of households are connected to piped
water. The average water consumption for these
households is 215 litres per person daily.
Less than 35% of cities in the developing
world have their wastewater treated.
countries with economies in transition, 75%
of solid wastes are disposed of in open dumps.
71% of the world’s cities have building codes
with anti-cyclone and anti-seismic building
standards based on hazard and vulnerability
and minibuses are the most common mode of
transport in the world’s cities. Cars are
the second most common mode used, while walking
is the third most common mode. Travel time
in Asian cities appears to be the longest
with an average of 42 minutes per trip.
of the population in cities of the developing
world is employed within the informal sector.
of the world’s cities have developed city-to-city
international co-operation. 68% of these cities
are affiliated to one or more international
association of local authorities.
63% of the world’s cities have established
new public-private partnerships in the last
49% of the world’s cities have established
urban environmental plans.
The absolute quantity of local government
income varies enormously, with total local
government revenue per person in cities of
highly industrialised countries being 9 times
that of cities in the developing world, 39
times that of African cities and 18 times
that of Latin American cities.
of the world’s cities involve civil society
in a formal participatory process prior to
the implementation of major public projects.
of cities in the world undertake regular independent
auditing of municipal accounts. 78% of the
world’s cities publicly announce contracts
and tenders for municipal services. 55% of
cities have laws that govern disclosure of
potential conflict of interest.
further information, please contact:
Sharad Shankardass, Spokesperson,
Zahra A. Hassan,
Media & Press Relations Unit,
Tel: (254 2) 623153, 623151,
Fax: (254 2) 624060,