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Explain why the highest rates of urbanization in the world today are in LEDCs.

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Explain why the highest rates of urbanization in the world today are in LEDCs. David Mothersole - 2004-09-29 Urbanization is the increase in the proportion of a countries population living in an urban area, and the decrease in the proportion of a countries population living in rural areas. Urbanization started in the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century in the United Kingdom, but in the rapidly growing LEDC cities today, such as Lima, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Cairo, urbanisation started less than fifty years ago. Although shanty towns may not look appealing it has been proved that the living conditions of the rural population in an LEDC are much worse. Today the rate of natural increase in MEDCs has decreased and in many countries including Germany and Italy it has infact stopped, as people appreciate the advantages of rural living and are wealthy enough to afford transportation costs to the nearest towns and cities, it is also true that public services in MEDCs such as ...read more.


This rural to urban migration is also topped from time to time by environmental refugees. The graph below shows the increase in urbanization in Lima over the last 50 years. In many countries there is a long tradition of centralized governments, where in colonial times cities were built for administration and for economic control of primary products. Nowadays investments from overseas by multinational companies are overwhelmingly directed into big cities, and the economies of many LEDCs are unable to support the development of only one or two major cities, which may become a dominant primary city. This "status" increases the pull factors of the city to the rural population, increasing health facilities, education etc. Migration is only the start of urbanization in LEDCs, once the process has started high rates of natural increase overtake migration. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, is an example where there was such a large rate of migration and natural increase of the last fifty years that the limited space that the city was built ...read more.


This is also an issue as even though there are large families, better healthcare, cleaner drinking water, sewerage systems and other facilities have reduced disease and therefore in places like Rochina, Brazil, over population can occur in the young townships as more and more people more into an already small and densely populated area. In conclusion the main two factors for high rates of urbanization in LEDCs are due to the rural to urban migration of rural dwellers in the hope of better jobs, education and healthcare. Also as many move in they continue to have larger families which are a factor in natural increase. It is not these factors in LEDCs that make the rates look so high compared to MEDCs. In many MEDCs such as the UK urbanization has peaked and people start to move back into suburban or rural settlements for a more peaceful lifestyle as they can afford to commute to work everyday. David J Mothersole Page 1 04/05/2007 ...read more.

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