Family Planning, Population Trends and Demography

The Hidden Family Planning Crisis of the Urban Poor

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Today, 3.9 billion of us live in cities. That’s more than half the world’s population. By 2050, about two-thirds of us will live in urban areas.

Today is World Population Day, and this week the United Nations Population Division released the latest version of its World Urbanization Prospects. The 2014 projections show continued population growth and an additional 2.5 billion city-dwellers by 2050—with almost 90 percent of them in Asia and Africa. But while numbers tell a compelling story, it is crucial to ensure that the urban poor do not get lost in the aggregate.

Rapid urbanization is often associated with increased access to information, education, economic opportunities and health services—and by extension greater access to sexual and reproductive health services. This idea is based on the assumption that proximity to services and opportunities means they are evenly distributed among urban populations.  However, this ignores inequities that exist within cities.  Not all urban dwellers are the same. How real is the “urban advantage”?

To find out, read more in the latest issue of 2020Vision.

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