The rural-urban divide in health and development

The rural-urban divide in health and development

This data-sheet from the Population Reference Bureau presents data from 2014 to compare rural and urban trends and metrics relevant to human development. The data is drawn from multiple sources, and provides a snapshot of developing countries at a time of rapid urbanisation and social change. While definitions of what constitutes “urban” differs around the world, it is estimated that over 54% of the world’s population is now living in urban environments, though in the least developed states, this figure is closer to 31%.

Among the data highlighted are higher child-birth rates and child marriages in rural areas across the world, and higher rates of modern contraception use and longer school enrollment in urban areas. While parts of Africa and Asia are witnessing urbanisations rates in excess of 2% per years, Africa is still estimated to remain majority rural for at least another 20 years. 

The data sheet finishes with a comprehensive index of demographic, socioeconomic, maternal and child health, family planning, and drinking water and sanitation metrics for developing countries in every continent, and information on how the Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world, and helps to empower them to advance the wellbeing of current and future generations.

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