Rabat – Casablanca is among the world’s most crowded cities, according to a recent report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Based on UN Habitat data, the report lists the ten most densely populated cities in the world.
With a population density of 14,200 inhabitants per square kilometer, Casablanca came fifth in the world and first in Africa. It was followed by Nigeria’s Lagos (13,300), India’s Kota (12,100), Singapore (10,200) and Indonesia’s Jakarta (9,600).
According to the report, Bangladesh’s Dhaka topped the list with a population density of 44,500 people per square kilometer. That places it ahead of India’s Mumbai (31,700), Columbia’s Medellin (19,700) and Philippines’s Manila (14,800).
The report also reveals that more than half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas. The United Nations (UN) expects that proportion to increase to 66 percent by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa.
With regard to the reasons that drive people to migrate to cities, the report cites what they call ‘push’ or ‘pull’ factors, saying “Push factors are issues with a current living situation that spur people into moving away, while pull factors are plus points that encourage people to move to a new location.”
More often than not, the push and pull factors both involve jobs and wages – it is usually easier to find better-paid work in cities than in rural locations, the report added. This is arguably the main reason why so many people have moved to cities such as Dhaka.
The WEF says that this flow into the cities has an impact, noting that slums remain a common sight in many cities around the world, with the poorest inhabitants of the most densely populated urban areas living in extremely tough conditions.