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Study Notes

Urbanisation and Migration

A-Level, IB, BTEC National
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 9 Aug 2019

Businesses need to consider key changes in population as they determine their strategy. Two aspects to consider are urbanisation and migration.


Urbanisation is:

The movement of people within a country from the countryside to urban areas (towns and cities)

Degree of urbanisation: usually measured by the percentage of the population living in urban areas


Migration is:

The movement of people between countries or regions

Immigration - the movement of people into a country

Emigration – movement of people out of a country

Example Urbanisation & Migration Data: UK

The UK is a good example of the typical levels of urbanisation and migration for a developed economy. The key features of the UK are:

  • Steady growth in population
  • Significant net inward migration in recent years
  • Slow growth in degree of urbanisation
UK Population
Uk Urbanisation

Example Urbanisation & Migration Data: China

By contrast, the population of fast-growing economies like China and India has surged ahead in recent decades.

China in particular has supported its population growth with a mass urbanisation programme.

Business Implications of Changes in Urbanisation and Migration

Some key business implications of changes in the level of population and extent of urbanisation include:

Rising population = higher demand for goods and services

More urbanisation (particularly emerging economies) = more affluent “middle class” consumers

Impact of net inward migration on public services (pressure on government spending), but helps economy to grow + businesses have larger supply of labour

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