WRITING TASK 1 : The percentage of the population living in urban areas in the world and in different continents

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The bar chart below gives information about the percentage of the population living in urban areas in the world and in different continents.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Source: UN, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2005 Revision (2006) and Carl Haub, 2007 World Population Data Sheet.

Sample answer:

The bar chart shows the urbanization percentage of the world in 1950 and compares this with the percentage in 2007 and the projected percentage for 2030.

Between 1950 and 2030, the proportion of the world’s population residing in cities is expected to double, growing from 29% to 60%. However, this rate is less marked in some continents than others.

For example, 64% of the population of North America was urban in 1950, increasing to 79% by 2007. By contrast, just 15% of the African population was urban in 1950, but this rose to 37% by 2007. This represents one of the highest urbanization rates in the world, even though the percentage of Africans in urban areas is still smaller than the world average.

It is also clear from the graph that, urbanization in Latin America is projected to be higher than Europe in 2030, in spite of being lower in 1950.