Source: United Nations Population Division.
Global urbanization and the emergence of large cities has been a significant process with far reaching economic and social impacts:
- Urbanization involves a much higher level of concentration of the global population, which used to be more dispersed. Higher levels of concentration are easier to service from a market perspective, but are also prone to congestion and diseconomies.
- Several mega-cities (8 to 10 million inhabitants) have emerged. These cities command a large share of the global wealth creation and dominate their respective national economies. Many act as global cities.
- Urban residents have different activities, lifestyles and levels of consumption than rural residents, particularly in developing countries.
Some large cities, or groups of large cities, have become urban regions.