“Africa’s Urbanizing, But Not How You Think
Nate Berg. Oct 2, 2012
The stats are pretty clear: the world’s population is increasingly concentrating in urban areas. A recent report from the United Nations estimates that the global urban population will grow from its 2011 level of 3.6 billion people to more than 6.3 billion by 2050. Most of that growth is projected to happen in less developed countries.
As we reported when that report was released in April, much of the growth in developing countries is expected to happen in Africa:
The most substantial growth is expected to occur in Africa. In 2011, urban residents in Africa made up about 11 percent of the world’s urbanized people. By 2050, they will represent 20 percent. Between 2011 and 2030, Africa’s urban population is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.09, the highest in the world.
So it was somewhat surprising to see this article from AlertNet, which suggests that in many of the biggest cities in Africa, more people are moving out than are moving in.
Deborah Potts, a demographer from Kings College London who studies urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa, says that more people are moving from urban areas to rural ones in countries like Ivory Coast, Mali, Zambia and Central African Republic. She says these “counter-movements” are the result of the severe shortage of jobs in many of Africa’s teeming cities. This out-migration has slowed the expected growth rate even of cities like Lagos, Nigeria, currently the most populous urban area in Africa.
Cities in Africa are still growing, Potts says, just not necessarily from the rural-to-urban migration patterns seen in other developing countries like China and India in recent decades.”
Via: The Atlantic
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