Migration is the movement of population from one area to another. Some migrations are forced, voluntary, permanent and temporary, International and regional. The type of migration that we are principally interested in in this unit is Rural to urban migration, which is the movement of people from countryside to city areas.
This type of migration happened in MEDCs from the 18th Century onwards on a large scale, and has gradually slowed down. In fact in many MEDCs the movement of people has reversed, and people are moving from Urban areas back into the countryside as they search for the quiet life (this is known as counter-urbanisation).
However, in many LEDCs cities are
experience massive rural to urban migration, mainly of young males, into the
major cities. The major reasons for this movement can be classified
push and pull factors.
Urbanisation is defined as the "proportion of people living in built environments such as towns and cities". The word proportion in this definition is very important, because it indicates that we must judge urbanisation by looking at both the numbers of people living in both rural AND urban areas. For the first time ever in the history of mankind it is now estimated that more people now live in towns and cities than in rural areas.
MEDCs were the first to urbanise, and generally have the largest proportion of their population living in towns and cities. LEDCs currently have lower rates of urbanisation, but are urbanising rapidly. Megacities, that is cities with over 10 million people, are almost exclusively in poorer nations. Cities of World importance for commerce and trade are dominantly in MEDCs, regardless of size. World cities include Tokyo, London and New York.
Think about it
Try this graphing exercise in Excel
Attempt to complete this gap fill exercise on Urbanisation
Attempt the dustbin activity below
Match up the key terms on Urbanisation
Internet Geography's page on urbanisation