Urbanization Over the Past 500 Years

Fascinating chart showing how rapidly the world population has urbanized:


Source: Our World In Data



You should really read the entire post at Our World In Data, but here is a short snippet:

“More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas — increasingly in highly-dense cities. However, urban settings are a relatively new phenomenon in human history.

This entry presents an overview of urbanization across the world, extending from the distant past, to present, and projections of future trends. Here we present a series of charts covering many aspects of urban shares, density, land area, and population sizes.

The chart below, however, provides a snapshot overview of how the world has become — and is expected to continue to — more urbanized. It shows, for any given country, whether more people (the majority) live in urban or rural areas. Using the timeline feature and “play” button in the bottom-left of the chart, you can explore how this has changed over time. Also included are UN Urbanization projections to 2050. In 1950, it was predominantly high-income countries across Europe, the Americas, Australasia and Japan who were largely urban. A century later — in 2050 — it’s projected that most countries will have more people living in urban areas than not.”


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