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runawayjim

World's Population more Urban than Rural

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Mayday 23: World Population Becomes More Urban Than Rural

This is a very interesting article. It basically says that on May 23, 2007, the world's population majority shifted from rural to urban areas. It goes on to say that the sustainability of this depends on what the people in urban areas can do for those in rural areas. It says that both areas depend on each other to continue, but that cities depend more in the rural areas and their resources than rural areas depend on cities.

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Wow, that's funny. I honestly thought that had been the case for several years now. :huh:

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I thought the majority urban for the planet was still several years away. I believe China and India are slightly majority rural, though have the world's largest and second largest urban populations, which can make up for some majority rural thinly populated regions. Sub-Saharan Africa is probably the largest region with a majority rural population, though South Africa and Nigeria have large urban populations and other large cities are scattered, including Nairobi, Kenya and Kinshasha, Congo. Several islands in the Caribbean and Pacific, low in population lack large urban centers. Mongolia, Cambodia and Laos in Asia and Paraguay in South America are probably the most notable largely rural nations on those continents. I believe Albania and Romania are Europe's last largely rural nations.

Among developed nations there are still large areas that are rural, Vermont in the US and parts of Switzerland are examples of affluent yet mostly rural and small town center populations. Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Greece are relatively newcomers to the urban majority as well. North Carolina only became majority urban with the 1990 census, though changing definitions of urban have been applied in the US that accounts for exurban and less dense suburbs becoming classified as urban. Considering large areas of Europe, North America, Japan, Korea, and Singapore have populations that are 80% urban and developing nations such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, the former Soviet Union and Soviet Bloc nations are at least 60-70% , added with the huge numbers in China and India are probably responsible for pushing the balance to urban. The Middle East, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia account for a big chunk as well.

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I think it depends on your definition of urban. A small town can be urban if the majority of the residents live in and around the town/village center, making it a very walkable area. This is the case in many towns in northern New England (VT, ME, NH) and even many southern New England towns as well (western MA for example). Urban does not need to mean city, and it's very possible that in this case it does not mean city, but rather dense development and population.

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