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18 May 2018, 04:22 | Melissa Porter
By 2028, Delhi to become world's most populated city: UN report
China is expected to add 255 million to its urban population between 2018 and 2050, according to a report by the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). In 2015, the United Nations said Russia's population in 2050 would be 129 million, and in 2009 the organization predicted just 116 million Russians by 2050.
By 2030, the world is projected to have 43 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants, a lot of them in developing regions.
Mumbai, which in 2015 had a population of 19.3 mn will grow by a more modest 41.6% over the two decades to reach 27.3 mn in 2035, just a little bigger than Delhi's current size.
North America now has the most urbanized regions (with 82 per cent of its population living in urban areas in 2018), while the corresponding figure for Latin America and the Caribbean is 81 per cent, followed by Europe (74 per cent) and Oceania (68 per cent).
The population decline will be the highest in villages, the report says.
It is projected that 68 percent of the world's population will live in urban environments by 2050, compared to 55 percent in 2018. India, China and Nigeria will account for more than a third of that expansion.
At about the same time, India is expected to surpass China as the country with the world's largest total population.
Some cities in Japan, North Korea, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation and Ukraine have already lost population since 2000, it said, citing reasons such as poor economy, natural disasters, low fertility and emigration. The population of Arkhangelsk, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don and other cities will either stabilize or slightly grow.
Based on the report, Tokyo's population is predicted to begin declining by 2020, while the Indian capital of New Delhi will become the most populous city on the planet by 2028.
As of 2018, there are 33 megacities and by 2030, 43 megacities are projected, mostly in developing countries.
The report found that the global rural population is now close to 3.4 billion, but is expected to decline to 3.1 billion by 2050. DESA stresses that sustainable urbanisation is essential to successful development.
Moreover, India reportedly has the largest rural population with 893 million, followed by China with 578 million. Africa and Asia are home to almost 90 per cent of the world's rural population in 2018.
The organisation further said: "Many countries will face challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban populations, including for housing, transportation, energy systems and other infrastructure; as well as for employment and basic services such as education and health care".
The report added that linkages between urban and rural areas would need to be strengthened, building on their existing economic, social and environmental ties.
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