Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

New research details West Africa’s swift urbanization

Lagos is Africa's most populous city. (Ayotography/

Urbanization in West Africa is occurring at a meteoric pace. From 1950 to 2010, the number of urban agglomerations in the region jumped from 152 to 1,947, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. These urban agglomerations are home to 133 million people — 41 percent of West Africa’s populace.

Those and other statistics are detailed in the 2015 update to Africapolis, a comprehensive study of West Africa’s urban evolution. The most recent version, published March 18, highlights trends in 17 countries during this time period.

The report spotlights the rapid emergence of cities with populations under 100,000. An estimated 90 percent of the region’s cities are under this threshold, the article says. Another highlight is fresh data on Nigeria’s urbanization. In addition to being the continent’s most populous nation, it also is home to Africa’s largest city, Lagos.

The report can be read online here and is available for purchase in hard copy here.  


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