Food for Thought Paper 5

Urbanization and Demographic Dividend(s)

More than half of the world's population now lives in urban areas. In the coming decades, urbanization will continue to increase - especially in Africa, where the number of city residents is expected to more than triple by 2050. Cities are hubs of creativity, innovation and productivity. They have the potential to create well-paid jobs, improve provision of healthcare and make education accessible to more children. However, in many places, urban populations are not able to make the most of these benefits. Slums emerge, in which poor families have to take on precarious work, sanitary facilities are unsatisfactory and few schools are available for children. How can big cities improve conditions for the most vulnerable households? And can doing so accelerate demographic change? The fifth Food for Thought Paper "Urbanization and Demographic Dividend(s)" sheds light on these questions with illustrative examples.

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