The United Nations-Habitat’s World Cities Report 2022, released last week claimed that India’s urban population is estimated to stand at 675 million in 2035, the second highest behind China’s 1 billion population. It said that the rapid urbanization was only temporarily delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic but the global urban population is back on track to grow by another 2.2 billion people by 2050.
“Urbanization remains a powerful 21st century mega-trend,” said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN Under-Secretary-General and executive director of UN-Habitat.
According to the report, India’s urban population is projected to reach 67,54,56,000 in 2035 from 48,30,99,000 in 2020. At the same time, it is likely to be 54,27,43000 by 2025 and 60,73,42,000 by 2030.
It states that by the year 2035, the percentage of people living in urban areas will be 43.2 percent of the total population.
The report says about China that by 2030 there will be an urban population of 1.05 billion. Whereas the population of people living in cities in Asia will be 2.99 billion. In South Asia this number will be 98.76 million.
According to the United Nations report, large economies such as China and India account for a large share of the global population and economic growth in these countries has positively affected global inequality.
“The economic growth and urbanization of China and India have increased rapidly in Asia over the past two decades,” it said. This has significantly reduced the number of people living in poverty.
According to the report, the existing urban population will continue to grow as birth rates increase, especially in low-income countries. With this, the number of people living in cities is projected to reach 68 percent of the total global population by 2050, which is currently 56 percent.
It states that poverty and inequality are one of the most difficult and complex problems facing cities.
Highlights of the UN Report:
- According to the World Cities Report 2022 by UN-Habitat, the pandemic only momentarily slowed down urbanization’s rapid pace.
- According to the report, India’s urban population is expected to reach 675,456,000 in 2035, up from 483,099,000 in 2020, 542,743,000 in 2025, and 607,342,000 in 2030. 43.2 percent of India’s population will be living in urban areas by the middle of the year in 2035.
- The report underlined the need to address urban inequality and climate change, citing “heatwaves in Delhi” and Mumbai’s “overcrowded slums.”