Seoul: South Korea is the sixth most
heavily urbanized country in Asia mainly due to concentration
of jobs and social infrastructure in cities, a recent report
by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said.
The report which was released here yesterday checked 48
Asian-Pacific countries in 2009 showed six countries with more
than 80 per cent of their population living in urban areas,
with the figure for South Korea hitting 81.5 per cent.
The country`s high percentage is mainly attributed to
concentration of employment opportunities, educational and
social infrastructures in cities such as Seoul and a lack of
incentives to attract people to rural areas. Seoul is home to
more than one-fifth of the country`s 49 million people.
"In the past, high urbanization numbers were a sign of
industrialization, but in recent times, emphasis has grown on
the need for balanced growth between urban and rural areas," a
finance ministry official said.
According to the report, small city-states and island
nations such as Singapore, Nauru in Micronesia and the special
administrative region of Hong Kong had urbanization rates of
100 percent, followed by Australia and New Zealand where
numbers reached 88.7 per cent and 88.6 per cent, respectively.
Countries such as Palau, Brunei Darussalam and the
Marshall Islands had urbanization rates of over 70 per cent,
while the percentage of the total population living in cities
in Japan and Taiwan stood at 66.5 percent and 59.1 per cent
each. This placed the two countries in 11th and 16th place
among the countries checked.
China`s urbanization rate stood at 46.6 per cent last
year, coming in 22nd, with India coming in 34th with just 29.4
per cent of its population living in urban areas, the report