Megacities on the rise in Asia and Africa

The UN predicts that 10 more cities will have populations of over 10 million people by 2030. All but one of them are located in Asia and Africa.

According to the World Economic Forum, the rise in the number of megacities is the “most visible evidence of the accelerating global trend towards urbanization”. And as the latest UN megacity predictions reveal, the overwhelming majority of that urbanization is taking place in Asia and Africa: all but one of the 10 cities set to break the 10-million-mark by 2030 are in Asia and Africa.

India is leading that growth: Delhi is set to overtake Tokyo as the world’s most populous city by 2028, and will grow to 39 million residents by 2030. New to the megacity club at that time will be the cities of Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

The Chinese cities of Chengdu and Nanjing will achieve megacity status by 2030, as will three other Asian cities: Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City and Tehran.

As the article explains, Africa has the biggest scope for change with its mostly rural population. Cairo will remain the continent’s biggest city, but Luanda and Dar-es-Salaam are all on track to break into the world’s top 10 in the next 12 years.

Only one city outside Asia and Africa is expected to attain megacity status by 2030: London, joining Europe’s other megacities of Paris, Moscow and Istanbul. No new megacities are predicted for the Americas.

By 2035, 20 of the largest 25 megacities will be in Asia and Africa. Exceptions are Mexico City in 8th, Sau Paulo in 10th and New York in 13th. Europe’s only representative in the top 25 will be Istanbul in 20th, followed immediately by Buenos Aires in 21st.

Image credit: Bernd Thaller via Flickr

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