Urban Settlement: Data, Measures, and Trends

David E. Bloom, David Canning, Günther Fink, Tarun Khanna and Patrick Salyer

in Urbanization and Development

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590148
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595493 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Urban Settlement: Data, Measures, and Trends

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This chapter examines data on urbanization. It reviews the most commonly used data sources, and highlights the difficulties inherent in defining and measuring the size of urban versus rural populations. The chapter shows that differences in the measurement of urban populations across countries and over time are significant, and discusses the methods used to obtain these measurements, as well as those for projecting urbanization. The chapter also analyses recent trends and patterns in urbanization. Finally, it describes the principal channels of urbanization and examine their relative contributions to the global urbanization process.

Keywords: measurement; urban population; urbanization; JEL classification; R11

Chapter.  7003 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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