Karachi to become the world’s third most populated city by 2030

November 6, 2018

Photo: AFP

Karachi is on the verge of becoming the world’s third most populated city by 2030.

A study by London-based global market research firm, Euromonitor, has made the prediction.

The population of the port city is expected to grow by more than 30%, the second highest growth rate, between 2017 and 2030, Euromonitor revealed in a study. The firm overviewed the current economic and demographic state of 33 megacities of the world.

The research firm defines megacities as those with a population of 10 million or more, featuring the most affluent households and those which are often the primary destination for investment in a country.

Related: How moving to Karachi may be wrecking Pakistan’s economy

According to the report, only 15% people used to live in cities in 1900, but the number rose dramatically by 2008 when more than half of the world’s population moved to urban areas.

The report forecasts that 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030. This is because megacities offer wealth, social diversity, economic growth, and innovation. They attract people from smaller cities and rural areas who are in search of jobs, want to start a business or get a quality education.

Megacities in developing countries, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, will continue to maintain their high levels of growth through 2030 owing to strong population growth, significant investment and rising incomes. However, the report also says if these cities want sustainable growth, they will need to overcome hurdles associated with urban growth. These include traffic congestion, income inequality, air pollution, crime, affordability and slum generation.

When it comes to megacities of developing countries like Pakistan, the hurdles to sustainable growth are far too many. This means that a city like Karachi will need to ensure access to public amenities, clean water supply, electricity, education, and jobs, the report says.

Karachi is projected to have second highest population growth rate through to 2030, but it remains at number 9 in terms of growth in the real GDP—a distant south of Dhaka, which remains on top.