The country’s urban population is projected to increase to 88.38 million by 2050, according to the latest report released by the United Nations (UN).
Based on the findings of the UN report titled World Urbanization Prospects 2014, over 40 million more Filipinos will be living in urban areas nationwide by 2050.
The report estimated that in 2014, the country’s urban population is at 44.53 million, and around 12.76 million of these Filipinos live in Metro Manila. The UN estimates that this year, around 44 percent of Filipinos live in urban areas.
“Today, despite the comparative advantage of cities, urban areas, are more unequal than rural areas, and hundreds of millions of the world’s urban poor live in substandard conditions. In some cities, unplanned or inadequately managed urban expansion leads to rapid sprawl, pollution and environmental degradation, together with unsustainable production and consumption patterns,” the report stated.
Further, the report stated that because of the increase in the urban population of the Philippines, it is one of the 14 countries that are projected to add 50 percent of the world’s urban population by 2050.
The other countries are Angola, Vietnam, Sudan, Iran, Uganda, Kenya, Iraq, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil Ethiopia, Tanzania and Bangladesh.
Compared to other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is a far second to Indonesia in terms of urban population. In 2014 Indonesia’s urban population was at 134 million, and this is expected to increase to 227.77 million by 2050.
The report also stated that Metro Manila remains one of the world’s biggest cities in terms of population. By 2030 the population of Metro Manila is expected to increase to 16.76 million, or an additional 4 million Filipinos.
Metro Manila ranks 18th in 2014, and is projected to rank 19th by 2030 on the list of the most populous cities worldwide. The average annual growth rate of Metro Manila is 1.7 percent, which is slightly below the country’s average annual population growth of 1.9 percent.
The report also stated that Metro Manila is the only Southeast Asian city included on the list of 20 most populous cities worldwide. The list includes three cities in China, Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing, as well as three cities in India, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
The list of the top 20 most populous cities also includes Tokyo, which holds the top spot on the list; and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area, as the 20th most populous city worldwide in 2014.
However, by 2030, Tokyo will remain at the top spot but Istanbul in Turkey will drop to 20th place from its 2014 ranking of 15th worldwide. Two cities not included in the top 20 in 2014, Guangzhou in China and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, could be part of the list by 2030.
“Managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century. Our success or failure in building sustainable cities will be a major factor in the success of the post-2015 UN development agenda,” UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division Director John Wilmoth said.
The UN said successful urban-planning agenda will require that attention be given to urban settlements of all sizes. If well managed, cities offer important opportunities for economic development and for expanding access to basic services, including health care and education, for large numbers of people.
Further, the UN said providing public transportation, as well as housing, electricity, water and sanitation for a densely settled urban population is typically cheaper and less environmentally damaging than providing a similar level of services to a dispersed rural population.