The Urbanization of the Human Population
Urbanization is the concentration of people in towns and cities, this marks a fundamental step in mans social evolution. Cities first appeared some 5,500 years ago they were both small and overcrowded. Today the biggest cities in the world accommodate most people due to urban agglomeration (e.g. 7% of the American nations land accommodated 70% of the nation in 1960). This saw a high degree of social complexity and interactment as never imagined before. During the 1850’s no society was predominantly urbanized but by 1900 Britain became the first. A mere 65 years all industrial nations were highly urbanized. During the period of 1950 to 1960 the fastest growth rate of urbanization occurred and 33% of the world’s population lived in urban areas by the end of this period.
In the past population of cities and towns were given by the number of people living within political boundaries. This became very inaccurate after the First World War for people have been moving over these boundaries. Competition caused specialization in cities as well as technological innovation. This led to cities having to invest in education and academics to satisfy this need. The biggest break through for urbanization was because of developments in energy, technology and machinery advancements. This caused the proportion of the population living in urban areas to increase by four times in a single century.
The later a country experienced industrialization the faster it was urbanized. Modern urbanization is closely related to economic growth. When urbanization ends growth of cities and economies will not necessarily end. The urbanization trends and times taken for it to occur differ from country to country however in all countries growth in the first 50% of the population is the fastest. When societies become very advanced and highly urbanized it causes suburbanization. Considered to be rural this retarded urbanization statistics.
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