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If Everyone Moves to the City, What Gets Left Behind?

Each year city dwellers make up more of the world's population. What will happen to the rural areas they're leaving behind?


Global rural populations will peak in the 2020s, leading to mass abandonment of rural lands.(Data Source: UN Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division)

Since 2008, more than half of humanity has resided in cities, and city dwellers make up more of the world population each year. Soon more than 25 cities will have populations of 10 million or more. Much has been made of the problems and opportunities presented by swelling urban populations and their impact on the environment. A growing, affluent urban class drives demand in energy and consumer goods. The rapid growth of cities is straining our infrastructure; much of it will need to be rebuilt to accommodate new growth and handle the strains of climate change.

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