The rise of the mega-city & the demise of the west.

I’ve been doing some thinking and study about the growing urbanisation of the world, and considering some of the changes and trends that will emerge over the next few decades. One of the most interesting things however is just the stand alone stats for the numbers in our emerging mega cities.

Look at these changes:

Top 10 Cities in 2000
1/ Tokyo, Japan 28m
2/Mexico City, Mexico 18m
3/ Mumbai, India, 18m
4/ Sao Paulo, Brazil 17m
5/ New York, USA 17m
6/ Shanghai, China 14m
7/ Lagos, Nigeria 13m
8/ Los Angeles, USA 13m
9/ Kolkata, India 13m
10/ Buenos Aires, Arg 12m

Top 10 Cities in 2025
1/ Mumbai, India 30m
2/ Lagos, Nigeria 30m
3/ Tokyo, Japan 29m
4/ Karachi, Pakistan 25m
5/ Dhaka, Bangladesh 24m
6/ Kolkata, India 21m
7/ Mexico City, Mexico 21m
8/ Sao Paulo, Brazil 21m
9/ Shanghai, China 21m

Top 10 Cities in 2050
1/ Lagos, Nigeria 64m
2/ Mumbai, India 50m
3/ Karachi, Pakistan 50m
4/ Dhaka, Bangladesh 49m
5/ Kolkata, India 34m
6/ Kinshasa, Congo DR 34m
7/ Delhi, India 33m
8/ Shanghai, China 30m
9/ Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 30m
10/ Tokyo, Japan 30m

These numbers are stunning, and the change is going to be felt most in the West, particularly Europe and America as our influence in the world diminishes. I’ll blog some implications next week that arise out of these expected growth figures. But the shift from north to south in global terms, and particularly the rise of India, China and the African mega cities is striking!


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