Urbanization by continent 2019

This statistic shows the degree of urbanization by continent in 2019. In 2019, the degree of urbanization worldwide was at around 54 percent.

Urbanization worldwide by continent

The Population Reference Bureau released data on global urbanization by continent in 2019. This statistic shows the percentage of total population living in areas that are defined as "cities" in the countries respectively. Some countries counted settlements with 100 houses or more as "urban," while others only included the capital of a country or provincial capitals in their count. According to the source, North America was the most urbanized continent worldwide, with 82 percent of the population living in cities. Additional statistics from the World Bank, estimate America’s degree of urbanization at 82.06 percent as of 2017. Latin America and the Caribbean were also reported as having a high degree of urbanization — with 78 percent of the population living in cities. Europe ranked third in terms of degree of urbanization. Meanwhile, as of 2010, the global share of people living in urban areas was estimated at 51 percent. This share is projected to increase to 70 percent of the global population by 2050.

Though North America was ranked number one in degree of urbanization, only one of the United State’s cities ranked within the largest ten worldwide: New York City. Tokyo, Japan, was the largest city in the world as of 2010, with 36.7 million inhabitants. New York-Newark came in at 19.4 million inhabitants in 2010, ranking sixth. Los Angeles, California was the second largest city in America with 3.8 million inhabitants in 2011.

It may be hard to imagine what life could be like in 2050, with 70 percent of the global population living in cities, but some statistics illustrate the ways urban living differs from suburban and rural living. American urbanites may lead more “connected” (i.e. internet connected) lives than their rural and/or suburban counterparts. As of 2018, more than 80 percent of people who lived in urban areas owned a smartphone. As of October 2009, seventy percent of urban households had internet connections, compared to 63.4 percent of rural households. According to one study in 2014, urbanites were also slightly more likely to report having read a book in the past 12 months, 77 percent of respondents from urban areas vs. 76 percent of respondents from rural areas and 75 percent of respondents from suburban areas.

Degree of urbanization (percentage of urban population in total population) by continent in 2019

Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

September 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

According to the source the data from the above statistic originates from official statistical yearbooks and bulletins of the particular country. Moreover, publications of the United Nations, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Population Division) of the UN and the U.S. Census Bureau serve as data sources. Further sources are recent demographic studies, special studies and direct interviews with demographers and inquiries at statistical offices of the U.S. and other countries.

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Single Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references
$59 $39 / Month *
in the first 12 months
Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract; Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Global mega trends 2017"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.