Table 3.10 | Urbanization
  About the data   Definitions   Sources

 

Urban population
 
  
    

 

   millions

1990 2003

 

 % of total population

1990 2003
average annual % growth
1990-2003

Population in urban agglomerations of more than
1 million

% of total population

1990 2000

Population in largest city
   

    

 

% of urban population

1990 2001

Access to improved 
sanitation facilities
   

   

 

   % of urban population

1990 2001

 

   % of rural population

1990 2001
Afghanistan 3.2 6.7 18 23 5.6 9 11 48 45 .. 16 5 5
Albania 1.2 1.4 36 44 1.3 .. .. .. .. 99 99 .. 81
Algeria 12.9 18.7 51 59 2.9 8 10 15 17 99 99 76 82
Angola 2.6 4.9 28 36 4.9 17 20 62 52 62 56 19 16
Argentina 27.9 32.6 87 89 1.2 42 41 40 38 87 .. 47 ..
Armenia 2.4 2.1 67 67 -1.1 33 35 49 52 96 96 .. 61
Australia 14.5 18.3 85 92 1.8 60 61 25 23 100 100 100 100
Austria 5.2 5.5 67 68 0.4 27 27 40 40 100 100 100 100
Azerbaijan 3.9 4.3 54 52 0.8 24 22 45 42 .. 73 .. 36
Bangladesh 21.8 37.0 20 27 4.1 9 13 30 31 71 75 11 39
Belarus 6.8 6.9 66 70 0.2 16 17 24 25 .. .. .. ..
Belgium 9.6 10.1 97 98 0.4 .. .. 10 10 .. .. .. ..
Benin 1.6 3.0 34 45 4.7 .. .. .. .. 31 58 1 12
Bolivia 3.7 5.6 56 64 3.2 25 31 29 26 49 58 13 23
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.7 1.8 39 44 0.4 .. .. .. .. 99 99 .. 88
Botswana 0.5 0.9 42 50 3.6 .. .. .. .. 61 57 21 25
Brazil 110.6 146.2 75 83 2.1 33 37 13 12 82 83 37 35
Bulgaria 5.8 5.3 66 68 -0.7 14 13 21 20 100 100 100 100
Burkina Faso 1.2 2.1 14 18 4.4 .. .. 49 37 47 45 8 5
Burundi 0.3 0.7 6 10 5.7 .. .. .. .. 42 47 44 35
Cambodia 1.2 2.5 13 19 5.6 6 8 .. .. .. 53 .. 8
Cameroon 4.7 8.2 40 51 4.3 16 22 21 22 43 63 7 33
Canada 21.3 25.1 77 79 1.3 34 37 18 20 100 100 99 99
Central African Republic 1.1 1.7 37 43 3.1 .. .. .. .. 32 47 18 12
Chad 1.2 2.1 21 25 4.3 .. .. .. .. 27 30 1 0
Chile 10.9 13.7 83 87 1.7 35 35 42 40 91 96 52 64
China 311.1 498.0 27 39 3.6 14 15 4 2 64 69 7 29
Hong Kong, China 5.7 6.8 100 100 1.4 100 100 100 100 .. .. .. ..
Colombia 24.0 34.1 69 76 2.7 28 33 21 21 95 96 52 54
Congo, Dem. Rep. .. .. .. .. .. 9 10 .. .. 56 43 3 23
Congo, Rep. 1.4 2.5 56 67 4.6 .. .. 51 43 .. 14 2 2
Costa Rica 1.6 2.4 54 61 3.0 .. .. 45 45 .. 89 97 97
Côte d'Ivoire 4.7 7.6 40 45 3.7 18 20 45 44 52 61 16 23
Croatia 2.6 2.6 54 59 0.1 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Cuba 7.8 8.6 74 76 0.7 20 19 27 25 99 99 95 95
Czech Republic 7.7 7.6 75 75 -0.1 12 11 16 15 .. .. .. ..
Denmark 4.4 4.6 85 85 0.4 26 20 31 24 .. .. .. ..
Dominican Republic 4.1 5.9 58 67 2.7 22 21 37 31 60 67 33 43
Ecuador 5.7 8.4 55 64 3.0 26 29 28 27 73 80 36 59
Egypt, Arab Rep. 22.9 28.9 44 43 1.8 23 21 40 37 70 84 42 56
El Salvador 2.5 4.1 49 64 3.8 19 22 39 33 70 78 33 40
Eritrea 0.5 0.9 16 20 4.4 .. .. .. .. 46 34 0 3
Estonia 1.1 0.9 71 70 -1.3 .. .. .. .. .. 93 .. ..
Ethiopia 6.5 11.4 13 17 4.3 3 4 28 23 14 19 2 4
Finland 3.1 3.1 61 59 0.0 17 21 28 36 100 100 100 100
France 42.0 45.3 74 76 0.6 23 23 22 22 .. .. .. ..
Gabon 0.6 1.1 68 84 4.2 .. .. .. .. .. 37 .. 30
Gambia, The 0.2 0.5 25 33 5.3 .. .. .. .. .. 72 .. 46
Georgia 3.0 2.9 55 57 -0.3 22 21 41 36 96 96 .. 69
Germany 67.8 72.7 85 88 0.5 40 41 9 9 .. .. .. ..
Ghana 5.1 7.7 34 37 3.1 8 9 23 24 54 74 37 46
Greece 6.0 6.7 59 61 0.9 30 29 51 47 .. .. .. ..
Guatemala 3.3 5.0 38 41 3.1 .. .. 24 18 71 72 35 52
Guinea 1.3 2.3 23 29 4.1 15 18 65 60 27 25 13 6
Guinea-Bissau 0.2 0.5 24 34 5.7 .. .. .. .. .. 57 .. 23
Haiti 1.9 3.2 29 38 3.9 18 24 59 62 27 52 11 23
Honduras 2.0 3.9 42 56 4.9 .. .. 35 25 77 89 31 52
Hungary 6.4 6.6 62 65 0.2 19 17 31 25 100 100 .. 85
India 216.9 301.3 26 28 2.5 9 11 6 6 43 58 1 18
Indonesia 54.5 94.7 31 44 4.2 9 11 14 13 66 71 38 38
Iran, Islamic Rep. 30.6 43.9 56 66 2.8 22 22 21 16 86 86 78 78
Iraq 12.6 16.7 70 68 2.2 30 32 33 34 95 95 48 48
Ireland 2.0 2.4 57 60 1.4 .. .. 46 42 .. .. .. ..
Israel 4.2 6.2 90 92 2.9 48 58 43 47 100 100 .. ..
Italy 37.8 38.9 67 67 0.2 23 20 12 10 .. .. .. ..
Jamaica 1.2 1.5 51 58 1.6 .. .. .. .. 85 90 64 68
Japan 95.6 101.1 77 79 0.4 42 44 34 35 100 100 100 100
Jordan 2.3 4.2 72 79 4.7 27 23 37 29 97 94 .. 85
Kazakhstan 9.3 8.3 57 56 -0.9 7 7 12 13 87 87 52 52
Kenya 5.6 11.6 24 36 5.6 6 9 25 22 49 56 40 43
Korea, Dem. Rep. 11.7 13.8 58 61 1.3 15 20 21 23 .. 58 .. 60
Korea, Rep. 31.7 40.0 74 84 1.8 49 46 33 23 .. .. .. ..
Kuwait 2.0 2.3 95 96 1.0 48 49 51 51 .. .. .. ..
Kyrgyz Republic 1.7 1.7 38 34 0.3 .. .. 38 47 .. 75 .. 51
Lao PDR 0.6 1.2 15 21 4.7 .. .. .. .. .. 61 .. 14
Latvia 1.9 1.4 70 60 -2.2 .. .. 47 52 .. .. .. ..
Lebanon 3.1 4.1 84 91 2.2 32 41 38 45 100 100 .. 87
Lesotho 0.3 0.5 20 30 4.2 .. .. .. .. 61 61 32 32
Liberia 1.0 1.6 42 47 3.3 .. .. .. .. 59 49 24 7
Libya 3.5 4.9 82 88 2.6 35 36 43 41 97 97 96 96
Lithuania 2.5 2.4 68 69 -0.4 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Macedonia, FYR 1.1 1.2 58 60 0.8 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Madagascar 2.7 5.3 24 31 5.1 8 10 35 31 25 49 8 27
Malawi 1.0 1.7 12 16 4.4 .. .. .. .. 52 66 34 42
Malaysia 9.1 14.7 50 59 3.7 6 5 12 9 94 .. 98 98
Mali 2.0 3.8 24 32 4.8 9 11 37 34 50 59 32 38
Mauritania 0.9 1.8 44 62 5.2 .. .. .. .. 31 64 26 9
Mauritius 0.4 0.5 41 42 1.4 .. .. .. .. 100 100 99 99
Mexico 60.3 76.7 72 75 1.9 32 34 25 24 84 90 20 39
Moldova 2.0 1.8 47 42 -1.1 .. .. .. .. .. 86 .. 52
Mongolia 1.2 1.4 57 57 1.2 .. .. 48 58 .. 75 .. 37
Morocco 11.6 17.3 48 57 3.0 21 24 23 21 87 83 28 31
Mozambique 3.0 6.7 21 36 6.2 5 7 26 18 .. 51 14 14
Myanmar 10.0 14.4 25 29 2.8 7 8 29 27 39 96 15 63
Namibia 0.4 0.7 27 32 4.3 .. .. .. .. 68 66 8 14
Nepal 1.6 3.2 9 13 5.2 .. .. .. .. 62 68 7 20
Netherlands 13.3 14.6 89 90 0.7 14 14 8 8 100 100 100 100
New Zealand 2.9 3.5 85 86 1.3 25 28 30 32 .. .. 88 ..
Nicaragua 2.0 3.1 53 57 3.4 19 20 36 35 64 78 27 51
Niger 1.2 2.6 16 22 5.8 .. .. 36 35 35 43 2 4
Nigeria 33.7 63.6 35 47 4.9 10 12 14 16 50 48 33 30
Norway 3.1 3.4 72 76 0.9 .. .. 22 23 .. .. .. ..
Oman 1.0 2.0 62 78 5.3 .. .. .. .. 97 97 61 61
Pakistan 33.0 50.6 31 34 3.3 16 18 22 22 81 92 19 35
Panama 1.3 1.7 54 57 2.2 .. .. 66 53 .. 89 .. 51
Papua New Guinea 0.6 1.0 15 18 4.0 .. .. .. .. 67 67 41 41
Paraguay 2.0 3.3 49 58 3.7 22 29 46 50 71 94 46 58
Peru 14.9 20.1 69 74 2.3 27 29 39 39 68 72 15 33
Philippines 29.8 49.7 49 61 3.9 14 14 27 20 63 81 46 61
Poland 23.1 24.1 61 63 0.3 14 13 15 12 .. .. .. ..
Portugal 4.6 7.1 47 68 3.3 30 31 40 27 .. .. .. ..
Puerto Rico 2.5 3.0 71 76 1.3 44 59 61 77 .. .. .. ..
Romania 12.4 12.1 54 56 -0.2 9 8 16 14 .. 86 .. 10
Russian Federation 108.7 104.6 73 73 -0.3 18 20 8 10 93 93 70 70
Rwanda 0.4 0.6 5 7 3.1 .. .. .. .. 49 56 36 38
Saudi Arabia 12.4 19.7 78 88 3.6 31 45 19 26 100 100 .. ..
Senegal 2.9 5.1 40 50 4.2 20 22 50 43 52 70 23 34
Serbia and Montenegro 5.4 4.2 51 52 -1.8 11 10 21 20 97 97 77 77
Sierra Leone 1.2 2.1 30 39 4.2 .. .. 48 45 .. 53 .. 30
Singapore 3.0 4.3 100 100 2.6 99 99 99 99 100 100 .. ..
Slovak Republic 3.0 3.1 56 58 0.4 .. .. .. .. 100 100 100 100
Slovenia 1.0 1.0 50 49 -0.2 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Somalia 1.7 2.8 24 29 3.6 11 12 44 41 .. 47 .. 14
South Africa 17.2 27.1 49 59 3.5 23 29 11 12 85 86 42 44
Spain 29.3 32.2 75 78 0.7 23 23 16 16 .. .. .. ..
Sri Lanka 3.5 4.6 21 24 2.1 .. .. .. .. 89 98 64 89
Sudan 6.6 13.0 27 39 5.2 9 13 36 31 53 50 26 24
Swaziland 0.2 0.3 24 27 3.9 .. .. .. .. .. 78 .. 44
Sweden 7.1 7.5 83 83 0.4 17 19 21 23 100 100 100 100
Switzerland 4.0 5.0 60 68 1.6 .. .. 21 20 100 100 100 100
Syrian Arab Republic 5.9 9.1 49 53 3.3 27 27 26 26 97 97 56 56
Tajikistan 1.7 1.7 32 28 0.3 .. .. .. .. .. 71 .. 47
Tanzania 5.5 12.7 22 35 6.4 5 7 24 19 51 54 45 41
Thailand 10.4 12.7 19 20 1.5 11 11 57 51 95 97 74 100
Togo 1.0 1.7 29 35 4.2 .. .. .. .. 71 71 24 15
Trinidad and Tobago 0.8 1.0 69 75 1.3 .. .. .. .. 100 100 100 100
Tunisia 4.7 6.7 58 67 2.6 19 20 33 30 95 90 47 62
Turkey 34.4 47.4 61 67 2.5 22 26 19 20 96 94 67 62
Turkmenistan 1.7 2.2 45 45 2.2 .. .. .. .. .. 77 .. 50
Uganda 1.9 3.9 11 15 5.3 4 5 39 31 54 53 41 39
Ukraine 34.7 33.0 67 68 -0.4 14 15 7 8 100 100 97 97
United Arab Emirates 1.4 3.6 80 88 7.1 .. .. 33 36 100 100 100 100
United Kingdom 51.3 53.2 89 90 0.3 24 23 15 14 .. .. .. ..
United States 187.8 226.6 75 78 1.4 40 42 9 8 100 100 100 100
Uruguay 2.8 3.1 89 93 1.0 41 40 46 43 95 95 .. 85
Uzbekistan 8.2 9.4 40 37 1.0 10 8 25 22 73 73 48 48
Venezuela, RB 16.6 22.5 84 88 2.3 31 34 17 14 .. 71 .. 48
Vietnam 13.4 20.7 20 25 3.3 13 13 30 23 46 84 16 26
West Bank and Gaza .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Yemen, Rep. 2.7 4.9 23 26 4.6 6 8 25 30 59 76 11 14
Zambia 3.1 4.2 39 40 2.4 13 13 32 33 64 68 26 32
Zimbabwe 2.9 4.9 28 37 4.0 10 12 36 30 69 69 40 51
World 2,263.3s 3,015.7s 44w 49w 2.2w ..w ..w 17w 16w 77w 79w 21w 35w
Low income 447.5 686.5 26 30 3.3 10 12 17 16 49 61 10 24
Middle income 1,148.1 1,570.8 44 53 2.4 .. .. 16 15 79 81 25 41
Lower middle income 946.4 1,319.8 41 50 2.6 17 18 14 13 78 80 24 41
Upper middle income 201.8 251.1 71 75 1.7 .. .. 27 26 89 .. .. ..
Low & middle income 1,595.7 2,257.4 37 43 2.7 .. .. 16 15 71 75 18 32
East Asia & Pacific 454.1 725.5 28 39 3.6 .. .. 11 8 64 71 16 35
Europe & Central Asia 294.4 301.1 63 64 0.2 16 18 14 .. 94 93 72 64
Latin America & Carib. 309.1 407.8 71 77 2.1 31 33 24 23 83 84 35 44
Middle East & N. Africa 126.6 181.8 54 59 2.8 22 24 27 27 88 90 52 56
South Asia 280.1 403.5 25 28 2.8 10 12 10 10 50 64 5 23
Sub-Saharan Africa 131.5 237.6 28 36 4.6 .. .. 26 24 53 55 25 26
High income 667.6 758.3 77 80 1.0 .. .. 19 19 .. .. .. ..
Europe EMU 220.9 239.0 75 78 0.6 28 28 16 18 .. .. .. ..

 
 
          
 About the data
   

The population of a city or metropolitan area depends on the boundaries chosen. For example, in 1990 Beijing, China, contained 2.3 million people in 87 square kilometers of “inner city” and 5.4 million in 158 square kilometers of “core city.” The population of “inner city and inner suburban districts” was 6.3 million, and that of “inner city, inner and outer suburban districts, and inner and outer counties” was 10.8 million. (For most countries the last definition is used.)


     Estimates of the world’s urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. According to China’s State Statistical Bureau, by the end of 1996 urban residents accounted for about 43 percent of China’s population, while in 1994 only 20 percent of the population was considered urban. In addition to the continuous migration of people from rural to urban areas, one of the main reasons for this shift was the rapid growth in the hundreds of towns reclassified as cities in recent years. Because the estimates in the table are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution. To estimate urban populations, the United Nations’ ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank’s estimates of total population (see table 2.1).
 

     The urban population with access to improved sanitation facilities is defined as people with access to at least adequate excreta disposal facilities that can effectively prevent human, animal, and insect contact with excreta. The rural population with access is included to allow comparison of rural and urban access. This definition and the definition of urban areas vary, however, so comparisons between countries can be misleading.

3.10a
Developing economies are becoming more urban

3.10b
. . . and urbanization is growing fastest in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia

   

 
 Definitions
   

• Urban population is the midyear population of areas defined as urban in each country and reported to the United Nations (see About the data). • Population in urban agglomerations of more than 1 million is the percentage of a country’s population living in metropolitan areas that in 2000 had a population of more than 1 million. • Population in largest city is the percentage of a country’s urban population living in that country’s largest metropolitan area. • Access to improved sanitation facilities refers to the percentage of the urban or rural population with access to at least adequate excreta disposal facilities (private or shared but not public) that can effectively prevent human, animal, and insect contact with excreta. Improved facilities range from simple but protected pit latrines to flush toilets with a sewerage connection. To be effective, facilities must be correctly constructed and properly maintained.

   

 
 Data sources
 

The data on urban population and the population in urban agglomerations and in the largest city come from the United Nations Population Division’s World Urbanization Prospects: The 2003 Revision. The total population figures are World Bank estimates. The data on access to sanitation in urban and rural areas are from the World Health Organization.