Volume 12 - Article 9 | Pages 197-236

World Urbanization Prospects: an alternative to the UN model of projection compatible with the mobility transition theory

By Philippe Bocquier

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Date received:01 Oct 2004
Date published:04 May 2005
Word count:8623
Keywords:developed countries, developing countries, environment, model, poverty, projections, urban transition, urbanization
Additional files:Projections (Excel file, 422 kB)


This paper proposes to critically examine the United Nations projections on urbanisation. Both the estimates of current trends based on national data and the method of projection are evaluated. The theory of mobility transition is used as an alternative hypothesis. Projections are proposed using a polynomial model and compared to the UN projections, which are based on a linear model. The conclusion is that UN projections may overestimate the urban population for the year 2030 by almost one billion, or 19% in relative term. The overestimation would be particularly more pronounced for developing countries and may exceed 30% in Africa, India and Oceania.

Author's Affiliation

Philippe Bocquier - Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium [Email]

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