Urban Estimates and Projections at the United Nations: the Strengths, Weaknesses, and Underpinnings of the World Urbanization Prospects

By: Thomas Buettner

Abstract: For about five decades, the United Nations Population Division has produces a comprehensive demographic account of the global urbanization process, now known as the biennial “World Urbanization Prospects”. This article describes the evolution of this unique data source from its inception to its 19th issues as the 2011 Revision and gives an overview about the statistical data sources used for the estimation of past and future trends, the models used for estimation and projection and the tools that have been developed to carry out the tasks. The article finally discusses the as yet unsuccessful demand for more compatible and comparable statistical definition or urban and city populations, addresses some alternative approaches and offers some ideas about possible improvements to the current methodology.

Full Text (PDF)

This entry was posted on by .