5/07/2007

How many of us live in the city ?

Here is one of the city picture I took last weekend. Spring is great time for my beloved city, slush are gone, cherry blossoms.
Like majority of people in US, I am a city person all my life. Since 2000, according the US census, 79.22% of people live in cities. That number is similar for all other developed countries. In France, about 78% of population live in Paris. In developing countries like China, although majority of people still live in the country side, city population is increasing very rapidly.
Here is an interesting research explained economically, why more and more people move to the city. According to researchers, as the city grew in size it required less energy/resources to sustain it (in a proportion called sub-linear scaling). But as cities grew, the scaling of creative output (jobs, wealth generated, innovation) is super-linear, meaning as the city grew its creative output grew faster and faster. In summary, "the increase you get in wealth creation is greater than the increase in size of the city".
Today a little more than 50% of the world's population live in large urban areas. By 2030, it is estimated to be 2/3 of the world's population will be living in urban areas.

4 comments:

Mike said...

I've read this before that the infrastructure is much more efficient in a city. But the downside can be bad nieghbors.

Peter Sage said...

This statistic on France doesn't sound right. Did you mean to say that 78% of the French population lives in Paris???? I think the number is closer to 10% in the city proper and possibly 20% if you included the greater Paris suburbs and exurbs.

Peter Sage, a reader in Medford, Oregon

David said...

I was thinking the same thing - should that be 78 percent live in cities? I would believe that number. I went to INSEE and found in 1990 there were 41.9 million urban dwellers and 14.7 rural, thus 74 percent urban. So I would guess the 78 percent is urban, for some date after 1990.

Numeric Life said...

Peter & David - let me check the number again. I could be wrong, but I recall 78% of French people live in Paris and its suburbs.