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Megacities in the Asia-Pacific region - statistics & facts

Megacities are becoming a global normality, with an increasing number of cities reaching the ten million inhabitant mark, thus securing their megacity title. Depending on the source, a megacity can be defined as an urban agglomeration or a metropolitan area. Naturally, many American and South American cities have crossed the ten million threshold, likely due to their strong economies. However, the Asia-Pacific region is in fact home to the highest number of megacities globally, with China and India leading the region with the highest number megacities.

Cost of living in megacities

As well as higher birth rates, increasing levels of migration have caused the emergence of megacities. Many people have opted to relocate to urbanized areas which can offer more opportunities as opposed to rural surroundings. However, astronomical populations also cause concerns with environment and affordability. Japan has experienced difficulties in providing affordable housing in the well-developed metropolitan area of Tokyo, reflected by the growth of the average land price. Nagoya was also declared as the megacity which had the highest cost of living index score throughout the Asia-Pacific region, overtaking Tokyo. Number of Chinese megacities are climbing up as the most expensive cities to live in terms of rent in the Asia-Pacific region. Namely, Shanghai, had the highest average monthly rent in the Asia-Pacific region.

Environmental issues

High population densities in megacities can often lead to environmental problems. A dense population, and thus heavier reliance on road network infrastructures, causes increased traffic. This in turn can create significant burdens on the environment. The most populated cities in the Asia-Pacific region are located in Japan, India and China. And it appears that many of the cities in India and China are faced with pollution issues. In addition, the capital cities of Bangladesh and Vietnam along with some Pakistani megacities are some of the most polluted cities in the Asia-Pacific region. The urbanization rate of the Asia-Pacific region is still relatively low, indicating that the emergence of megacities across Asia will continue. This requires continuous efforts to address and counter the strains which megacities are having on their environments. However, measures within sustainable city development through technological innovations and the rising environmental awareness in society could help in managing the challenges of megacities.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 22 most important statistics relating to "Megacities in the Asia-Pacific region".

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