OECD Observer
Cities at the forefront of progress

Our world is urbanising at an historically fast pace. Over a thousand years ago Bagdad became the first city on earth to exceed a million inhabitants. New York was the first city to reach 10 million in 1925 and Tokyo 20 million in 1965. Today there are several metropolitan areas with over 10 million people. By 2050, about 56% of Africans will live in cities. By 2100, 85% of the world’s population could be urban. This presents both major policy challenges and potential for sustainable development, productivity and inclusiveness for all.