United Nations: For the first time in human history, more than half of the global population will live in cities by the end of this year, but the percentage of urbanized population in India will only be 29%, the latest projection by the United Nations shows.
The report predicts that worldwide the number of people living in urban areas would rise to 70% by 2050.
Currently, 3.3 billion people, of an estimated population of 6.4 billion, are living in urban areas, and their number would double to 6.4 billion by 2050 when some 9.2 billion people are expected to inhabit the earth, the report said.
But the report says there is nothing to worry about it as urbanization shows the dynamism of the economies and rich societies are among the highly urbanized.
The report, released on 26 February, said that even in 2050 India would not be as urbanized as China where currently 40% people live in cities and their number is projected to go up to 70% or one billion people by 2050.
Releasing the projection on urbanization, director of Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Population Division Hania Zlotnik stressed that the migration to urban areas would continue in India despite attempts by the Indian planners to prevent people from moving to cities.
Indian planners, she said, should be trying to foster economic dynamism in rural areas where 70% of the population lives and rural development implies improving agriculture and establishment of agro industries. That would mean fewer people would be needed in that sector which, in turn, would require excess labour to be moved to non-farm employment which is available mostly in cities.