These 11 countries with the highest urban population percentage offer a glimpse into the future of dominantly urbanized world. In 2014, more than a half of world population, or more precisely 54 percent, lived in urban areas. The number of 3.9 billion people living in the cities represents a significant increase compared to 1950 when the total urban population was 746 million. In the years that come the number of city-dwellers will continue to rise, reaching 66 percent of world’s population by 2050.
Although compared to other parts of the world Asia has a lower level of urbanization, the greatest share of urban population is concentrated on this continent. Asia, besides Africa, is also expected to be a region that will see the greatest growth of urban population in the future. UN estimates that these two continents will be a home to 90 percent of future city dwellers. A large concentration of people in Asian and African cities points to the dark side of urbanization. A significant influx of people, especially in underdeveloped regions where existing infrastructure can’t meet the needs of a great number of residents, interfere with quality of living, leaving many people on the social margin.
India, the country that will experience urban population growth of 404 million by 2050, exemplifies how the rapid increase in urban population can create a pile of social and environmental problems. Mumbai, the most populous city, and country’s financial center, has the total population of 18.4 million, out which more than half live in slums. Moreover, latest reports on environmental issues in Mumbai warns about growing air, water, and noise pollution, which have led to the increase in the number of people suffering from respiratory illnesses. Finally, urban population surge can increase crime rates, and it is no wonder that India also found its place on our list of 11 countries with highest prison population.
To create the list of 11 countries with the highest urban population percentage we used World Bank’s data. According to World Bank in seven countries in the world, people are living only in urban areas. Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Monaco, Macao SAR – Chine, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR – Chine, Sint Maarten (Dutch part) have the urban population of 100 percent. We did not include these countries on the list as we decided to present you places where there is still some percent of the rural population. Also, some countries have the same share of the urban population, so we ranked them by a total number of city dwellers.