What Causes Urbanization in Poor Countries?

Urbanization in poor countries occurs as a natural result of economic development. When countries see a growth in industry, a significant part of the population migrates toward cities in order to find work and easier access to basic resources.

A certain degree of urbanization is necessary for developing countries to reduce poverty levels. More than 80 percent of the world's goods and services come from cities, and they are usually considered centers for economic growth. City-dwellers are more likely to have access to sanitation and electricity. There is greater access to clean water. The infant mortality rate is lower, and basic living conditions are significantly better than in rural areas.

It is possible for too much urbanization to have a negative effect on the development of a poor nation. As cities expand, it is necessary to form an infrastructure that allows wealth to flow into suburban and rural areas as well. Increased urbanization causes an overload of population in the cities, and housing and resources become hard to find. This creates slums and homelessness.

Governments of developing countries welcome the economic and social benefits of urbanization. However, they are equally concerned with investing in transportation and telecommunications, which allow the population to remain evenly distributed.