January 26, 2015
- Almost 200 million people moved to urban areas in East Asia from 2000-2010, a figure that would be the world’s sixth-largest population for any single country.
- Most of East Asia’s population is still non-urban, meaning the region will likely face decades of further urbanization.
- The Pearl River Delta in China – which includes the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan – has overtaken Tokyo as the world’s largest urban area in both size and population, with more inhabitants than countries such as Argentina, Australia or Canada.
- China’s government-implemented urbanization dominates East Asia with 600 of the region’s 869 urban areas located in the country, which also has more than two-thirds of East Asia’s total urban land.
- East Asia’s urban areas included eight “megacities” with populations over 10 million, 123 large cities with one to 10 million people, and 738 medium and small cities with 100,000 to one million people.
- The report establishes a direct link between urbanization and income growth, showing how economic output per capita increased throughout the region as the percentage of people living in urban areas went up.
- Expanding urban areas often cross administrative or political boundaries such as municipal borders, which fragments government management and revenue sources.
- The rate at which urban areas expanded physically varied widely between countries. Mostly rural countries had the highest spatial expansion rates, with Lao PDR at 7.3 percent and Cambodia at 4.3 percent, while industrialized Japan had the lowest rate of increase at 0.4 percent despite containing the second-largest amount of urban land behind China.