Lagos, Nigeria Predicted to Be World’s Most Populated City by 2100

Mar 30, 2018

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It’s no secret that the world is becoming more urban at a rapid rate. Perhaps no city is more emblematic of this trend than Lagos, Nigeria, which is on track to become the world’s most populated city, with a predicted population of nearly 100 million by the end of the century.

The study on population was completed at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. According to Daniel Hoornweg, Associate Professor at the University and author of “Population predictions for the world’s largest cities in the 21st century,” Lagos isn’t the only city in Africa that will see a boom in its population.

“Lagos, Dar Es Salaam, Kinshasa: These are the cities that are looking at four- to five-fold increases in population; by the end of the century, the lion’s share of large cities, the top 20 if you will, most of those will be in Africa,” Hoornweg told Voice of America.

In the study, Hoornweg and his team analyzed urbanization rates across major cities to make projections of the world’s largest cities from 2010 through 2100. His team used three different possible schemes, which varied in levels of sustainability, reduction of inequality and speed of technological development.

By 2100, the study predicts the total world population will range from 6.9 billion to 13.1 billion, depending on each situation. Currently, Tokyo is the most populated city with about 38.11 million residents in 2016. Elsewhere in Asia, Hoornweg said that we’re currently seeing the final wave of urbanization in China. Next, it’s headed for India and then it will culminate in the big cities of sub-Saharan Africa. The report goes on to predict that by 2100, 47 of the 101 largest cities in the world will be coastal.

These numbers are meant to be an educated guess with a variety of variables affecting the outcome. Researchers looked at whether increased urbanization will result in higher levels of poverty, depleted resources and more residents living in slums, or whether they will become sustainable hubs that provide an increase in economic development and growth.

Despite its rapid growth and ascendance on the world stage, Lagos isn’t a very accessible city when it comes to commercial air service, as American carriers have only a few nonstop flights to the whole African continent. Currently there are only ten nonstop flights to major African cities from the US, and only about half of those connect the US with cities in West Africa. And, the vast majority of US-Africa flights depart from the East Coast, and are subject to frequent schedule changes and high ticket prices. Currently, Delta is the only US carrier to fly to the Nigerian mega-city, with nonstop flights from both New York (JFK) and Atlanta (ATL).

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