Urban growth and mobility in Latin America
José Marcos Cunha, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
Jorge Rodriguez Vignoli, Centro Latinoamericano de Demografía (CELADE)
Latin America (LA) is the most urbanized region in the developing world. The population is agglomerated in large cities, many with 1 million or more inhabitants. This feature has two consequences. On the one hand, many indicators of the Millennium Development Goals provide a greater degree of progress, in comparison with other regions in the developing world because concentration in cities may facilitate their achievement. On the other hand, for LA countries, it is in big cities where social problems are more complex, and also where we can find the largest concentrations of poverty. Because migration has historically played a central role on the demographic growth of LA cities, an understanding of the changes in the trends of population spatial distribution must consider detailed analysis of migration. Drawing on census data, the paper will discuss these issues and draw attention to the challenges of measurement, analysis, and public policies.