Delhi to overtake Tokyo as world's most populated city in 10 years

68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN

The Guardian reports that while Tokyo is the world's largest city as of now with a population of 37 million people, Delhi follows behind with 29 million residents.

Delhi, India's capital, will become the most populous city in the world, surpassing Tokyo, around 2028, according to the 2018 Revision of World Urbanisation Prospects produced by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), released on May 16. Sydney, Australia's most populous urban center, has announced plans to split into three smaller cities by 2040 to improve housing, quality of life and governance.

The population decline will be the highest in villages, the report says.

The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 751 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018. Most of this growth is expecting to be concentrated in just a handful of countries.

The report found that the global rural population is now close to 3.4 billion, but is expected to decline to 3.1 billion by 2050.

India's current rural population of 893 million is the largest in the world and is 59.1 per cent of India's total population of 1.35 billion.

Tokyo is now the largest city on the planet with 37 million inhabitants, followed by New Delhi with 29 million, Shanghai with 26 million and Sao Paulo and Mexico City with 22 million apiece.

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According to an earlier UNDESA estimate, India's population is expected to reach 1.438 billion in 2024, exceeding China's 1.436 billion. "It is projected that India will have added 416 million urban dwellers, China 255 million and Nigeria 189 million", said Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as it announced the findings in NY.

Today, Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing and Dhaka all have close to 20 million inhabitants.

In 32 years, India will be among the countries with highest growth in world's urban population, according to the United Nations.

Delhi is expected to overtake Tokyo as the world's largest metropolitan area around 2028, as Japan's population declines and India's continues to grow. They share this trend with cities in Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

As of 2018, there are 33 megacities and by 2030, 43 megacities are projected, mostly in developing countries. DESA stresses that sustainable urbanisation is essential to successful development. Most of these are located in the low-fertility countries of Asia and Europe where overall population sizes are stagnant or declining.

"When urban growth is rapid, ensuring access to housing, water, sanitation, electricity, public transport, education and health care for all is especially challenging", John Wilmoth, director of the Population Division, said at a United Nations news conference, according to Reuters.

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