The fastest growing megacities in the world. 1: Karachi, Pakistan.

2: Shenzhen, China.

3: Lagos, Nigeria

4: Beijing, China

5: Bangkok, Thailand.

6: Dhaka, Bangladesh.

7: Guangzhou-Foshan, China

8: Shanghai, China

9: Delhi, India

10: Jakarta, Indonesia.

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The 10 Fastest Growing Megacities In The World

As the world’s population rapidly moves into urban areas, the world’s largest cities are growing explosively—and almost all that growth is happening in the developing world.

The world’s population is rapidly moving into city centers; by 2050, seven out of every 10 people on Earth will live in a city. But not every city will be a megacity—defined as an urban area with over 10 million inhabitants—and not every megacity is equally large.

Every year, Demographia releases a comprehensive list of the population, land area, and population density of urban areas with over 500,000 inhabitants. It’s a huge list, as you might imagine. But in looking at the top 10 urban areas by population, some clear patterns emerge. Below, the list.

The United States and Europe are distinctly absent from the list, with the exception of the New York metropolitan area. If you scroll through the entire Demographia list (warning: it’s extremely long), you’ll notice that the pattern continues: the vast majority of the world’s biggest megacities are in the developing world, and, as New Geography points out, the fastest-growing megacities are also in developing nations.

You can see this clearly in McKinsey’s Urban World app, which examines how population levels (and other factors) in cities will change by 2025.

New Geography concludes that "the most rapid growth is taking place in countries that still have large rural hinterlands and relatively young populations. These mostly poor places— most with median incomes between Dhaka at $3,100 per capita and Bangkok at $23,000—will continue to grow, at least until their populations begin to see the results of decreasing birthrates." These places may be poor, but according to McKinsey, 440 big cities in emerging economies will make up half of the planet’s economic growth by 2025.

In other words, the U.S. will probably matter less and less as time goes by.

[IMAGES via Shutterstock]

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  • unsickular

    I think the picture of Delhi is ridiculous, please replace it with an appropriate one.

  • Skip Stein

    Thoughts on Mega-Cities.



    As people are herded more and more into crammed 'cities'
    where the pollution is high, food is mostly processed and contaminated,
    the Power Elite laugh all the way to the bank.  In massive cities, it is
    easy to CONTROL a population.

    I've never understood the reason for cities in our modern tech age.  We
    can live/work just about anywhere as most workers are 'information' workers
    utilizing data tools at computer workstations.  These can be located
    anywhere on our Planet that is more and more connected every day.

    In cities, disruptions in power, communications, food/water supplies can be
    disastrous. Concentration resources and intellectual capital in these dense
    locations may pose easy targets for future wars of terror, worse than todays.

    You can't really manufacture much in a city, you can't grow much food, you
    can't do much be sit in high rise offices and work in cubicles all day then
    return to a cramped/small little space called 'home' to sit and wait until the
    next day's commute on crowded mass transit and repeat the endless cycle. 
    Sure there are restaurants, and entertainment but on a percentage basis, only a
    very minute number of people can participate!

    On the Net, a distributed population has more FREEDOM, is able to breathe
    fresher air, have access to more healthy food and power.  Much can be
    independently provided (solar, geothermal etc.) for almost 'off the grid'
    independence.  The information flows easily and instead of crammed into a
    cubicle, you may work in any space you choose.

    We talked about entertainment, hell it is almost UNLIMITED on the NET and it
    can and IS interactive when needed.

    Information, resources and assets are distributed not centralized making a
    catastrophic failure less likely to paralyze a population.  So, I ask you,
    what is the allure of a city when the Planet has hectors and hectors of
    available open space. 

    I believe the future should be more of groups of enclaves, united for common
    goals/purpose; all linked by rapid transit systems for distribution of items
    manufactured in regional centers that can't easily be manufactured
    locally.  (this is becoming a less significant issue as we can now
    fabricate so many things easily and will soon be able to 'print' components and
    assemble on demand almost anything).  Rapid/high bandwidth communications
    will make virtual meetings seem almost tactile.  Information flow will be
    rapid and dissemination immediate to any interested/authorized party anywhere
    on the Planet.

    SO, I ask you, why would you want to live in a mega-city?  I see
    absolutely NO reason whatsoever and can think of hundreds of reasons why NOT to
    do so!  Just MHO.