Characteristics of Urbanisation

What you need to know: 

I can describe what urbanisation is.

I can describe what a push and pull factor is.

I can provide examples of push and pull factors.

I can describe what natural increase is.

 

Step 1: Read the key terms list below. Make sure that you understand and could give a definition to somebody else.

Urbanisation – Urbanisation is the increase in the proportion of people living in towns and cities resulting in their growth.

Push factor – Push factors are those which force a person to move. This can include drought, famine, lack of jobs, over population and civil war.

Pull Factor – Pull factors are those which encourage a person to move. These include a chance of a better job, better education, a better standard of living.

Natural Increase – The growth in population as the result of declining death rates and high birth rates.

Step 2: Watch the video below and read the information in Section 1 and 2. Make notes using a revision technique of your choice. 

 

Section 1 

What is urbanisation? 

Urbanisation is the increase in the proportion of people living in towns and cities. There are two causes of urbanisation. The first is rural to urban migration and the second is natural increase.

 Section 2 

What are the causes of urbanisation? (rural to urban migration and natural increase)

Rural to urban migration involves because people move from rural areas (countryside) to urban areas (towns and cities). This usually occurs when a country is still developing.

Levels of urbanisation in 1950 and 1990

1950
1990
World
30%
51%
MEDCs
53%
74%
LEDCs
17%
34%

Prior to 1950 the majority of urbanisation occurred in MEDCs (more economically developed countries). Rapid urbanisation took place during the period of industrialisation in Europe and North America in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many people moved from rural to urban areas to get jobs in the rapidly expanding industries in many large towns and cities. Since 1950 urbanisation has slowed in most MEDCs, and now some of the biggest cities are losing population as people move away from the city to rural environments. This is known as counter-urbanisation. You can read more about this process here.

A map to show levels of urbanisation around the world
A map to show levels of urbanisation around the world

Since 1950 the most rapid growth in urbanisation has occurred in LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) in South America, Africa and Asia. Between 1950 and 1990 the urban population living in LEDCs doubled. In developed countries the increase was less than half.

A graph to show changes in urbanisation from http://www.geohive.com/earth/pop_rururb.aspx

A graph to show changes in urbanisation from http://www.geohive.com/earth/pop_rururb.aspx

The three main causes of urbanisation in LEDCs since 1950 are:

1. Rural to urban migration is happening on a massive scale due to population pressure and lack of resources in rural areas. This are ‘push’ factors. Push factors are those which force a person to move. This can include drought, famine, lack of jobs, over population and civil war.

2. People living in rural areas are ‘pulled’ to the city. Pull factors are those which encourage a person to move. These include a chance of a better job, better education, a better standard of living. Often migrants believe that the standard of living in urban areas will be much better than in rural areas. They are usually wrong. People also hope for well paid jobs, the greater opportunities to find casual or ‘informal’ work, better health care and education.

3. Natural increase caused by a decrease in death rates while birth rates remain high.

The UN predicts that by 2030 60% of the world’s population will live in urban environments. 

 Step 3 – Answer the exam questions here:  9_1 – What are the characteristics of urbanisation?