What are the consequences of rapid population growth in LIDCs?

Investigate the consequences of rapid urban growth in LIDCs

Consequences of urbanisation in LIDCs
There are clearly some positive consequences of a growing urban population.  Increased employment means that more people have better wages, so their standard of living will rise.  This will also contribute to the economic growth of the country as a whole.  As the government’s wealth increases (through taxes), it can invest into the development of the country; improving service provision, infrastructure, education, etc.

However, rapid growth can present a range of problems for an urban area.

Economic consequences

Social consequences

Environmental consequences

  • Lack of jobs results in high unemployment
  • Many work in the informal sector, which is untaxed and unregulated
  • People often work for long hours, in dangerous conditions and for little pay
  • Lack of housing, results in informal housing developing (see below)
  • Infrastructure cannot be built quick enough, meaning that many people lack basic services, such as clean water, electricity and proper sewer.
  • Poor living conditions lead to poor health
  • High levels of crime are common
  • Children have little access to education, meaning they cannot break out of poverty
  • Rubbish is not collected, damaging the environment and providing a habitat for pests, such as rats
  • Sewage and toxic waste from unregulated factories pollutes water/rivers, harming wildlife
  • Poorly developed road systems cannot cope with the amount of vehicles, leading to congestion. Combined with poor quality vehicles, air pollution is high

Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria, is growing rapidly (see the graph below).  This has resulted in many informal settlements developing, including Makoko:


Lagos population growth. From 2017 these are estimates.