The Urbanization of the Human Population Urbanization is the concentration of people in towns and cities, this marks a fundamental step in mans social evolution. Cities first appeared some 5,500 years ago they were both small and overcrowded. Today the biggest cities in the world accommodate most people due to urban agglomeration (e. g. 7% of the American nations land accommodated 70% of the nation in 1960). This saw a high degree of social complexity and interactment as never imagined before.
During the 1850’s no society was predominantly urbanized but by 1900 Britain became the first. A mere 65 years all industrial nations were highly urbanized. During the period of 1950 to 1960 the fastest growth rate of urbanization occurred and 33% of the world’s population lived in urban areas by the end of this period. In the past population of cities and towns were given by the number of people living within political boundaries. This became very inaccurate after the First World War for people have been moving over these boundaries.
Competition caused specialization in cities as well as technological innovation. This led to cities having to invest in education and academics to satisfy this need. The biggest break through for urbanization was because of developments in energy, technology and machinery advancements. This caused the proportion of the population living in urban areas to increase by four times in a single century. The later a country experienced industrialization the faster it was urbanized. Modern urbanization is closely related to economic growth.
When urbanization ends growth of cities and economies will not necessarily end. The urbanization trends and times taken for it to occur differ from country to country however in all countries growth in the first 50% of the population is the fastest. When societies become very advanced and highly urbanized it causes suburbanization. Considered to be rural this retarded urbanization statistics. During the early 19th century urbanization slowed down due to health issues and also because woman living in urban areas had an average of 38. 3% less children.
Since the mortality rate was higher than birth rate at this time the only factor that increased the urban population was rural urban migration. People moved to urban areas for better, easier and higher paying jobs. This drain became so intense that rural populations across the globe began to decline in a drastic measure. This also caused the majority of the population to depend on a minute minority for agricultural products. The growth of urban areas then began to cease for the rural population could no longer feed the growth of the urban areas.
This caused economic development and growth to cease. The current rates of urbanization in underdeveloped countries could be expected to exceed those now existing in countries far advanced in the urbanization cycle. Urbanization is occurring now faster than ever before. If it continues at this rate these areas will double their population every 15 years. The development of shacks is causing unsustainable and uncontrollable population growth. In contemporary under developed countries both urban and rural populations are growing.
This causes a major problem for if rural inhabitants move to urban areas it will cause the city to grow in a disastrously fast manner and if they don’t they will cause a large number of unemployed farmers. In the past urbanization solved the problem of rural population growth, cities took in manpower to produce goods and services in those cities this helped them modernize agriculture. Now countries are facing rapid growth rates, this makes it impossible to solve rural population increase problems.
City growth rates today do not correlate with economic growth it owes mostly to rural urban migration coupled with high birth rates this gives us problems regarding land for residential areas, schools and freeways. As long as the population expands so will cities hence cities will never stop growing but urbanization would. Taking in all the facts produced about urbanization overcrowding seems to be inevitable. To prevent this developing countries should limit growth however urban planners disagree making this an impossible reality for now.