This passage details the definition and future of megacities.

Lexile Level: 1010L

Categories: History People & Places Science & Technology

Cities have been around for thousands of years; the first ones appeared in about 3,000 BC. Recently, however, we have witnessed the peculiarly modern phenomenon known as "megacities." A megacity is defined as an urban area with more than ten million inhabitants. In 1995, there were 14 megacities in the world. In 2015, there will be 21. By the year 2030, 60 percent of the entire population of the planet will reside in these vast urban settings. The growth of these megacities will be most pronounced in developing countries that have high rates of population growth and large populations of migrants in search of the opportunities cities offer. Today, the five largest cities are Tokyo, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, New York City, and Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). In 2015, the ranking will be Tokyo, Dhaka, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Delhi. It is safe to say that in the future the quality of life for most people on the planet will depend upon the quality of cities.


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