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Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 rapid urbanization and the politics...

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Chapter 7: rapid urbanization and the politics of the urban poor The migration of the rural poor to urban areas in the developing countries has resulted in an influx of millions of people. In China alone, 300 million rural villagers are expected migrate to urban centers over the next two to three decades. In Africa, this is also occurring; but added to the influx of millions of refugees fleeing civil war and famine. For example, after Rwanda’s ethnic genocide the country’s urban population grew by 11.6% annually from 2000 to 2005. Between 2003 and 2030 it will climb from only 18.3% of the nation’s total to 58.5%. Many maintain contact with their rural roots. Some moved to the urban areas, intending to make and save money and eventually return to their villages. Others alternate between country and city and a permanent pattern. In parts of West Africa and Southeast Asia more than half the urban migrants are temporary. China has a “floating population” consisting of at least 100 million people or more. Latin Americans migrants to settle permanently. Due to both internal (natural), population growth, and the influx of migrants, many Third World countries have mushroomed in size and will continue to do so. In 1970 third world countries contain 675 million people. In the year 2000, it grew to 1.9 billion and is expected to reach 4 billion by the year 2025. Evidence shows that about half the urban population explosion has come from these two sources. In Africa, migration has produced more than increase, where it has in Asia it’s due to natural increase. It is expected that the world’s developing nations will probably be half urban within a decade and nearly 60% urban by 2030. Latin America is the most urbanized region in the developing world. In 2003 77% of its population lived in cities almost equaling that of the United States or Western Europe. Africa and Asia are considerably less urban, each with less than 40%. But their cities have grown at a much more rapid rate, especially in Africa. There are differences from country to country as well. Ethiopia is only 16% urban in 2003. But urbanization is much more advanced in North African
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countries such as Morocco, with more than 58% urbanization. Many of Asia’s largest countries, including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Thailand are still at least two thirds rural. But within these countries. There are huge cities such as Jakarta in Indonesia, Karachi in Pakistan, New Delhi and Calcutta in India, which have populations over 10 million. During the second half of the 20 th century their populations surpassed New York, London and Los Angeles. The political consequences of urban growth As fast as its growth seems it is not without precedent. According to one estimate the percentage of LDCs total population living in cities grew from 16.7% in 1950 to 28% in 1975 and 42% in 2003. But from 1875 to 1900 the West’s urban population increase from 17.2 to 21.6%, a similar rate of growth.
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