GCSE Geography - Unit 2 Human Geography - Section A - Changin Urban Environments - Urbanisation.

Notes from:

  • CGP GCSE Geography AQA A Specification The Revision Guide ISBN 978-1-84762-378-2
  • AQA (A) GCSE Geography GCSE Revision Guide ISBN 978-1-4441-1045-6
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Urbanisation (CGP) Page 1

Notes from CGP Book:

Urbanisation is happening fastest in poorer countries.

Urbanisation is the growth in the proportion of a country's population living in urban areas. It's happening in countries all over the world- more than 50% of the world's population currently live in urban areas (3.4 billion people) and this is increasing every day.

But urbanisation differs between richer and poorer countries:

  • Most of the population in richer countries already live in urban areas, e.g. more than 80% of the UK's population live in urban areas.
  • Not many of the population in poorer countries currently live in urban areas, e.g. around 25% of the population of Bangladesh live in urban areas.
  • Most urbanisation that's happening in the world today is going on in poorer countries and it's happening at a fast pace.
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Urbanisation (CGP) Page 2

Urbanisation is caused by Rural- Urban Migration...

Rural-urban migration is the movement of people from the countryside to the cities.

Rural-urban migraiton causes urbanisaiton in richer and poorer countries.

The reasons why people move are different in poorer and richer countries though.

Here are a couple of reasons why people in poorer countires move from rural areas to cities:

  • There's often a shortage of services (e.g. education, access to water and power) in rural areas. Also, people from rural areas sometimes believe that the standard of living is better in cities (even though this often turns out not to be the case).
  • There are more jobs in urban areas. Industry is attracted to cities because there's a larger workforce and better infrastructure than in rural areas.

Here are a couple of reasons why people in richer countries move from rural areas to cities:

  • Most urbanisation in rich countries occurred during the Industrial and the Agricultural Revolutions (18th and 19th centuries)- machinery began to replace farm labour in rural areas, and jobs were created in new factories in urban areas. People moved from farms to towns for work.
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Urbanisation (CGP) Page 3

  • In the late 20th century, people left run-down inner city areas and moved to the country. But people are now being encouraged back by the redevelopment of these areas.

It's normally young people that move to cities to find work. These people have children in the cities, which increases the proportion of the population living in urban areas. Also, better healthcare in urban areas mean people live longer, again increasing the proportion of people in urban areas.

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Urbanisation (CGP) Page 4


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Urbanisation (AQA) Page 1

The total population of the world was (when this book was published) over 6 billion and was expected to reach 7 billion in 2011. The proportion is much greater in richer countries such as Japan, Australia, the USA and the UK. Urbanisation occurred in these countries during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In poorer countries there is usually a smaller percentage of the population living in urban areas, although more people live in towns in South America.

Urbanisation is the the increase in the proportion of people who live in towns and cities. It is occurring on a global scale mostly in poorer countries.

Urban Growth is the expansion of towns and cities so that they cover more land, as well as gaining larger populations.

Nineteen cities have over 10 million inhabitants and are known as mega-cities. Over 300 cities have over one million inhabitants and are known as millionaire cities.

Causes of Urbanisation

Cities in poorer parts of the world are growing rapidly. This is due to two important processes:

  • Rural-urban migration- the movement of people from the countryside to cities.
  • Natural population increase because birth rates are higher than death rates.

Pull factors attract people to cities because of the hope of work and earining money, better schools, healthcare, entertainment.

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Urbanisation (AQA) Page 2

Push factors encourage people to leave villages because of poverty, few jobs except in farming, poor health facilities, few schools, little entertainment.


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