Urbanization: Its Effects on Government and Society

Urbanization: Its Effects on Government and Society

Urbanization: Its Effects on Government and Society

Urbanization: Its Effects on Government and Society

Excerpt

The disproportionately rapid growth of the city population and the consequent growing concentration of the population in the urban centers constitute among the most striking features of recent times in the development of the advanced countries. According to the Census of 1920, 51.4 per cent of our own population live in urban centers--that is, in cities and towns of 2,500 population or more. And if to this more strictly urban population there be added those persons who live in incorporated places of less than 2,500 population, what may be called the "agglomerated" population comprised approximately sixty per cent of the total population in this country, in 1920. There are no data to show what proportion of the total population lived in places of 2,500 population or more at the beginning of the national period in our history; but in 1790 only 3.3 per cent lived in places of 8,000 or over, and by 1820 but 4.9 per cent lived in urban centers as thus defined. By 1920, however, 43.8 per cent of our total population lived in places of this size and upwards.

The cityward trend is even more in evidence in some of the European countries. England and Wales, which had but 50.2 per cent of the population living in cities and towns in 1851, had increased the urban population to 79.3 per cent of the total by 1921. And by 1911 there had been a loss of approximately one-half million in the number of males employed in agriculture, as compared with the year 1851. Scotland is almost as highly urbanized as England and Wales.

Sixty per cent of the population of Germany lived in the cities in 1910, and in Saxony the urban population comprised seventy-three per cent of the total population in the same year. Belgium is also highly urbanized; while the territorial diminution of Austria resulting from the World War had the . . .

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