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End-of-the-century thoughts: which will be the most populous cities in the world in 2100

Humanity is rapidly expanding and conquering virtually every single corner of the globe. Specifically, our cities are becoming veritable megacities, destined to accommodate more and more people in the near future.

Research published by Daniel Hoornweg and Kevin Pope in 2016 predicted which will be the 10 most populous cities in the world in 2100, i.e. at the end of the century. Surprisingly, the list did not include a single European or North American city. 

The data on the currently most populous cities were updated to those reported by the UN in 2021, and again, not a single European or North American city. The trend is therefore clear, the future will be shifted between Asia and Africa in the near future, with Western society set to lose its political hegemony.

Wikipedia.org
End-of-the-century thoughts: which will be the most populous cities in the world in 2100
Humanity is rapidly expanding and conquering virtually every single corner of the globe. Specifically, our cities are becoming veritable megacities, destined to accommodate more and more people in the near future. Research published by Daniel Hoornweg and Kevin Pope in 2016 predicted which will be the 10 most populous cities in the world in 2100, i.e. at the end of the century. Surprisingly, the list did not include a single European or North American city. The data on the currently most populous cities were updated to those reported by the UN in 2021, and again, not a single European or North American city. The trend then is clear, the future will be shifted between Asia and Africa in the near future, with Western society set to lose its political hegemony.
Di Morio - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5794297
Tokyo (Japan)
According to 2021 UN data, Tokyo is currently the most populous metropolitan city in the world with 37.3 million people. The Japanese city, on the list of the world's 10 most populous cities in 2100, is not present.
By Igor Ovsyannykov igorovsyannykov - https://unsplash.com/photos/BFeZCHFpm2IImageGallery, CC0, http
New Delhi (India)
The Indian city is the second most populous in the world with 31.1 million inhabitants. An overcrowded place like almost every city in India, its population is set to keep growing over the course of the century, and it will still be one of the most populated, although no longer in the top-3.
Di Adi Constantin - https://unsplash.com/photos/C8Z5DvtWQMw, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/in
Shanghai (China)
Shanghai currently ranks third on the list of cities with the most inhabitants, an impressive 27.8 million. However, like Tokyo, it does not appear on the list of the 10 most crowded in 2100, highlighting a trend that will see China's population growth decline in the coming years.
Di Francisco Anzola edit by Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton - Imported from 500px (archived version) by the
Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Off the podium of the most populous in 2021 according to UN data are Sao Paulo, in fourth place with 22.2 million inhabitants, Dhaka (Bangladesh), Mexico City, Cairo, Beijing, Mumbai and Osaka. From the data, which is useful to understand the general trend, one can see a total Asian hegemony at the moment, with India, China and Japan leading the way. While India will maintain its supremacy, and even increase its number of inhabitants, this trend is not observed in the other two countries.
OpenUpEd - Wikipedia.org
Lagos (Nigeria)
What one notices instead, looking at the research by Daniel Hoornweg and Kevin Pop, entitled 'Population predictions for the world's largest cities in the 21st century', is a huge growth of African cities. In fact, according to the research, it will be Lagos in Nigeria that will be the most populous city in 2100. The number of inhabitants is estimated to be around 88.3 million.
Di MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32468846
Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Staying in Africa, we find the second city with the most people in 2100, namely the metropolis of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, with 83.5 million people.
Di Muhammad Mahdi Karim - Opera propria, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6
Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania)
The third most populous city in the world according to the study will also be located in Africa. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, will have as many as 73.7 million inhabitants. It is hard to say how connected the growth of the city concentration is to the growth of the continent in general. Undoubtedly, however, they will become increasingly important places of influence in the world economy and society.
Di A.Savin - Opera propria, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47965693
Mumbai (India)
Mumbai is the first city we find in both rankings. Already the figures for 2021 show that it is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world (20.7 million to date), but by 2100, estimates say it will reach 67.2 million, tripling its population. This growth is also seen in another Indian city, New Delhi, which is estimated to have 57.3 million.
Di DasAritra - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50100735
Calcutta (India)
Given current trends, it is not surprising that a metropolis like Calcutta is also on the list of what will be the megacities of the future. This place will reach 52.4 million people. The Indian population is already heavily concentrated in the cities, which are already quite overcrowded, but the trend is set to continue. An improvement in infrastructure and hygienic conditions will certainly be necessary, but this is a reasoning that applies to almost all the countries and cities mentioned.
Di ASaber91 - Dhaka 14th March, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63107324
Dhaka (Bangladesh)
Concluding the list, it is noticeable that the most populated region of the world in 2100 will be South-East Asia. Dhaka, Bangladesh, will have 54.2 million people. Other cities on this list are Niamey (Niger, 65.2 million people), Khartoum (Sudan, 56.6 million), and Kabul (Afghanistan, 50.3 million people)
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26/05/2024
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