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{city, large, area}
{area, community, home}
{country, population, people}
{company, market, business}
{theory, work, human}
{rate, high, increase}
{island, water, area}
{city, population, household}
{black, white, people}
{acid, form, water}
{area, part, region}
{town, population, incorporate}
{village, small, smallsup}

Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. Urbanization is also defined by the United Nations as movement of people from rural to urban areas with population growth equating to urban migration. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008.[2]

Urbanization is closely linked to modernization, industrialization, and the sociological process of rationalization.

Urbanization can describe a specific condition at a set time, ie. the proportion of total population or area in cities or towns, or the term can describe the increase of this proportion over time. So the term urnbanization can represent the level of urban relative to overall population, or it can represent the rate at which the urban proportion is increasing.



As more and more people leave villages and farms to live in cities, urban growth results. The rapid growth of cities like Chicago in the late 19th century and Mumbai a century later can be attributed largely to rural-urban migration. This kind of growth is especially commonplace in developing countries.

The rapid urbanization of the world’s population over the twentieth century is described in the 2005 Revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects report. The global proportion of urban population rose dramatically from 13% (220 million) in 1900, to 29% (732 million) in 1950, to 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. The same report projected that the figure is likely to rise to 60% (4.9 billion) by 2030.[4] However, French economist Philippe Bocquier, writing in THE FUTURIST magazine, has calculated that "the proportion of the world population living in cities and towns in the year 2030 would be roughly 50%, substantially less than the 60% forecast by the United Nations (UN), because the messiness of rapid urbanization is unsustainable. Both Bocquier and the UN see more people flocking to cities, but Bocquier sees many of them likely to leave upon discovering that there’s no work for them and no place to live."[5]

According to the UN State of the World Population 2007 report, sometime in the middle of 2007, the majority of people worldwide will be living in towns or cities, for the first time in history; this is referred to as the arrival of the "Urban Millennium" or the 'tipping point'. In regard to future trends, it is estimated 93% of urban growth will occur in developing nations, with 80% of urban growth occurring in Asia and Africa.[7][8]

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