Pseudo-urbanization is the condition in which a large city has formed in an area without a functional infrastructure to support it. As the population of an urbanized area grows, the city's infrastructure must grow with it, or else shortages will develop, typically in housing, transportation, clean water and waste removal services, or other services such as law enforcement. Overpopulation in urban areas is often characterized by shanty towns, where such services are inadequate or wholly absent. A city much of whose recent growth has been in the absence of adequate infrastructure will be "pseudo-urbanized".

Urbanization in the third world tends to consist primarily of pseudo-urbanization. This happens largely because of so-called "rural push": factors which push people from the countryside into the cities, without the city being prepared to accept them. Rural-urban migrants in the third world usually move into the cities because of poverty related reasons, leading to a demographic explosion and a progressive concentration of poor migrants in the cities. This is a finite process, as one city can only hold so many people due to limited infrastructure and available resources



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