The Global Urbanization


Global urbanization refers to the increase in the human demographic in the urban centers as a result of growth in rural to urban migration. The global urbanization is one of the historical revolutions of the rational social roots where the rural ethos is replaced primarily by the city culture. The primary cause of the urbanization is increased and substantive pioneering policies made by the global leaders to transcendent boundaries to shape the international and domestic trends. As a fact, the power of the cities has a significant impact on global agendas with more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas. As a result, the paper focuses on the trends in the worldwide urbanization in Latin America, while considering the existing data and narrative on the human demographics in the same region.

Urban Growth vs. Urbanization in Latin America

Latin American region is one of the areas known to have a high population, but data shows that its population density is 50% below the world average which is higher than of southeastern Asia region. The urban growth in Latin America has undergone a rapid increase due to the increased rural departure as a result of westernization, which raised the need for the labor[1]. The urban growth and the urbanization appear similar and related because the urban population is what initiates urbanization. The rise in the community calls for the adequate food supply, creation of social amenities such as the schools and hospitals to provide education and healthcare. Similarly, the increasing number of youths in the town means that there is a high need for job opportunities in cities, which encourage setting up of industries and consequently the expansion of cities. More significantly, the national and regional product has to rise concurrently with the increasing demography.

The age pyramids of Latin America countries have some unique feature of a vast number of young people in the whole population. The population is increasing such that the available resources become scarce, making the population dynamics a spatial, cultural and economic challenge.

Figure 1: A graph showing the rise in urban population and a decrease in the rural community within most of the parts of the Latin American region.[2]

As a result of the positive migration from the rural to urban, the urban population has risen in most Latin American countries. The high population has subjected most of the Latin country cities to develop in the effort to accommodate such increasing demographic. The rise in the people and the growth of cities is what we refer to as urbanization and arrive us to the conclusion that urban population constitutes the general advancement of a town in terms of structures, economy, and the social class.

Links between Urbanization, Economic Growth, Demographic Change, and Synchronization Model

Urbanization is the central part of the advancement of the economy in individual countries and a region. The movement of people from rural to urban areas is beyond the supply of people in cities is leading to industrialization and growth of the economy. The labor market in the cities goes lofty, and the industrial activities constitute to an adequate flow and use of currency in the towns through business activities and taxation. The town municipalities make use of such resource to build the economy to realize massive gross domestic product and income. The concept of the urbanization and the growth of the economy go hand in hand, and indeed there is no state, either in the Latin America or any other region, that can achieve stable global income without the vibrant cities of innovation and entrepreneurship and culture resulting to 70% of the worldwide GDP.

According to Henderson, 2004 and Davis & Henderson 2003, economic development is meekly dependent on the advancement of the urban sector. The implication to such assertion is that a region with flourishing urban development realizes reasonable pa capita within it is showing the urbanization result and more innovation in business which necessitates the growth of the economy. Even though rural, urban migration may yield to slow growth of the economy, it results in an increased economic development as a long term motive, offering the general increase in the national and regional income. For instance, Au and Henderson noticed that ones the rural-urban migration is restricted, there is an optimal rise in the city sizes which is associated with the average decrease in labor which in turn results to slow growth of the economy[3]. The role of the development of towns and the rise in the economy is addressed in the spatial concentration. Indeed, there are super diseconomies associated with developing and mapping of the city. Urbanization is one of the precise features of the development of manufacturing and provision activity of emerging regions and its influence in the economy is quite substantive.

The internal migration, which is the shift from rural to urban centers, is predominant in Latin America. The effect of the migration to the demographic structure is viewed into three essential segments. For one, the rise in the population in the urban centers is associated with the growth of the towns. The growth is in the dimensions of the increasing the housing, industrial growth to accommodate the youthful and energetic team for the casual labor, the rise in the social amenities and principally, the increase in the gross domestic product and pa capita, which are determinants of a developed economy. Also, migration results to even or uneven distribution of people in different towns. However, the impacts of the immigrants are similar irrespective of the number, which only varies the rate at which the effects are realized. Again, the migration may lead to changing sociodemographic profiles, gender, education, and sex due to different proportions of the shifting amid the social groups in the spatial units. The datasets in migration in Latin America are kept in the ECLAC for referencing[4]. The population is associated with bringing both vices and virtues which determine the moral status of a given city. For example, if the city does not offer enough to accommodate such populations, vices such as the prostitution and street children emerge, which are the most significant challenges facing the urbanized cities in the Latin American region.

Data Used to Determine Urbanization in Latin America

On the evaluation of the urban development, which results from an increased number of people in cities? With the knowledge of mapping that I obtained from the videos of the Parag Khanna at TED 2016, I located the geographical map of the Latin America region which is the center of my discussion. The video provides world geographical map with the population charts and bordering. As well, I used the World Bank, Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The sites contained the updated population and urbanization data for different regions which have been helpful in my essay. Generally, the mentioned sources provided me with the charting facilities, graphing and mapping which are in the results and analysis section of my paper.

Results and DataFigure 2: The population table showing the population in Latin America

Latin America is ranked the fourth populated region in the world with a population of 365 million people in 1980 and with a predicted population of 784 million people by 2050, and further to 721 million people by 2100[5]. The results match with the current increase in population and urbanization in towns, with the growth of industries and agriculture providing for the population.


LatinAmerica is nearly equal in size to North America with an estimated size of about ‎19,197,000 km2being the fourth largest region in the world. [6]

Figure 4: The variation of males and females in Latin America relative to the age brackets

There are more females than males in the Latin America with the abundant population for the two genders ranging from 0-35 years and decreasing from 40-80 years of age[7]. Such statistics show that the region experiences a faster growth in urbanization since the youthful and energetic population is high.

The image above shows people on transit and business projects. The number of people seen in the picture indicates an increased population in towns which means there is development in the cities within Latin America.

The image above is extracted from the World Bank statistical data which show the urbanization in Latin America. The launching of the digitalized city of Rio de Janeiro is an indicator of how development is trending in Latin America.


There is a close association amid the urban growth and urbanization and Latin America that have undergone raise in population. The statistical data and population pyramids show a rise in the population since the 19th century. The growth of cities is associated with the internal migration of people from rural to urban areas. However, despite being related to the growth of towns, some vices accompany the growth which comprises of the immorality and crime.


Works Cited

Khanna, Parag. “Mapping the future of countries.” TEDGlobal 2009 (2009).

Roberts, Mark, et al. Urbanization and development: is Latin America and the Caribbean different from the rest of the world? The World Bank, 2017.

Cervero, Robert. America’s suburban centers: the land use-transportation link. Routledge, 2018.


[1] Roberts, Mark, et al. Urbanization and development: is Latin America and the Caribbean different from the rest of the world? The World Bank, 2017.


[2] Roberts, Mark, et al. Urbanization and development: is Latin America and the Caribbean different from the rest of the world? The World Bank, 2017.


[3]Cervero, Robert. America’s suburban centers: the land use-transportation link. Routledge, 2018.

[4]Cervero, Robert. America’s suburban centers: the land use-transportation link. Routledge, 2018.



[5]Roberts, Mark, et al. Urbanization and development: is Latin America and the Caribbean different from the rest of the world? The World Bank, 2017.

[6]Khanna, Parag. “Mapping the future of countries.” TEDGlobal 2009 (2009).


[7] Roberts, Mark et al. Urbanization and development: is Latin America and the Caribbean different from the rest of the world? The World Bank, 2017.