Urban Growth in South Asia: A View from Outer Space

  • Mark Roberts


Mark Roberts in this chapter, titled ‘Patterns of Urban Growth in South Asia: A View from Outer Space’, examines the process of urbanization in South Asia where, since the turn of the century, the area has added an estimated 130 million people to its towns and cities, a number equivalent to the entire population of Japan. In the process, its urban share of the population has grown from 27.3 percent in 2000 to 30.9 percent in 2011, implying a pace of urbanization that has been on a par with that in sub-Saharan Africa. However, although South Asia’s relatively rapid pace of urbanization over the last decade and a half is well-known, less understanding exists of patterns of physical urban expansion and economic growth across the region’s cities. This chapter, therefore, makes use of data on night-time lights for the period 1999–2010 which has been remotely collected by satellites orbiting the earth to provide new insights into these patterns. The chapter furthermore explores the empirical links between urbanization and rates of extreme poverty across sub-national regions within South Asia.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.The World BankWashington, DCUSA

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