world's population lives in settlements of two types: urban and rural areas. Urban settlements are where most people work in industry and services. In rural areas most people employed in the agricultural sector of the economy. It should be noted that a common to all countries criterion for inclusion of settlements to the urban or rural does not exist. Some states are taking such a legislatively fixed number of inhabitants in settlements.
Urbanization (from the Latin - "City") - the process of urban growth, the increase in urban population, the increasing role of cities in society and the spread of urban lifestyles.
In 2000 lived in cities more than half the world's population. It can be argued that urbanization is now acquired a global character. Modern stage of its inherent three characteristic features:
1. The rapid pace of increasing the proportion of urban population
(at the beginning of the XIX century. lived in cities of 3% of the world population
at the beginning of the twentieth century. lived in urban areas 14% of the world
at the beginning of the XXI century. lived in urban areas 51% of the world's population).
2. Further concentration of population and economy in large (over 100 thousand inhabitants) cities and towns, a millionaire.
In 2000 there were about 400 cities-millionaires. Largest city in the world believe Tokyo is home to 26.4 million inhabitants.
3. Territorial expansion of cities and the merging of closely spaced cities, connected together by political, labor, cultural, domestic, industrial, administrative and managerial constraints in a coherent whole - metropolitan area (from the Latin - "to attach ").
At the beginning of the third millennium, there were 20 urban agglomerations and their number is constantly increasing. Highest stage of modern urbanization is the formation of mega-cities (from Greek - "big city"). It arises as a result of mergers of neighboring agglomerations, forming a single infrastructure. By the end of the twentieth century. in the world had six mega-cities, of which:
three in the U.S.:
BosVash - along the Atlantic from Boston to Washington with a population of 50 million inhabitants;
Priozerny - on the southern coast of the Great Lakes, with a population of 35 million inhabitants;
California (18 million inhabitants).
two in Europe:
English (united metropolitan London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool);
Rhine (metropolitan area Randstad in the Netherlands and the Rhine-Ruhr, Rhine-Main in Germany).
one in Japan
Tokaido (metropolitan Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto).
Significant differences exist between countries on the level and rate of urbanization. The highest level in developed countries. In most developing countries the level of urbanization is relatively low, but the urban population is increasing rapidly, as related to urban migration of rural population. This phenomenon is called psevdourbanizatsiey as a sharp increase in urban population is not accompanied by the spread of urban lifestyles.
Natural population growth - a measure which, together with indicators of fertility and mortality rates characterize the dynamics of the continuous recovery of generations of people, ie the process of human reproduction. It is characterized by the rate of natural increase, estimated as the difference between fertility and mortality rates (per 1 000 thousand population).
Natural increase depends on many factors. By the XVIII century. growth of the world's population depended mainly on the biological processes. The levels of fertility and mortality rates were very high and, as a result - a low natural increase (see chart on the map the distribution of population "). In our time, a more significant influence on the reproduction of the population acquire socio-economic factors: the level of welfare and living conditions, level of development of medicine, the state of health and nutrition, the degree to involve women in public life, the relationship between urban and rural populations, national and religious traditions, etc. Among the global historical reasons that hinder the natural population growth - political upheaval, social crises, deteriorating environmental conditions of their stay.
rate of natural increase can be positive, negative or zero value. In most countries there is a positive natural growth. High rates of population growth are called boomers and became one of the global problems of mankind. The solution to this problem lies in holding governments appropriate demographic policies.
predominance in mortality above the level of fertility - a negative natural increase is called depopulation. This phenomenon is characteristic for transition countries (Ukraine, Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria) and some developed European countries (Germany, Sweden).