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Urban Myths and the Mis-use of Data that Underpin them

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  • Satterthwaite, David
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    Abstract

    This paper describes the gaps and limitations in the data available on urban populations for many low- and middle-income nations and how this limits the accuracy of international comparisons – for instance of levels of urbanization and of the size of city populations. It also discusses how the lack of attention to data limitations has led to many myths and misconceptions in regard to growth rates for city populations and for nations’ levels of urbanization. It ends with some comments on how data limitations distort urban policies.

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    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/wp2010/wp2010-28.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Working Paper WP2010/28.

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    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-28

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    Related research

    Keywords: urbanization; city populations; censuses;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua & Sangraula, Prem, 2007. "New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4199, The World Bank.
    3. Fay, Marianne & Opal, Charlotte, 2000. "Urbanization without growth : a not-so-uncommon phenomenon," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2412, The World Bank.
    4. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2003. "Progress Toward the Millennium Development Goals in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 23-52, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Potts, Deborah, 2012. "Challenging the Myths of Urban Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Evidence from Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1382-1393.
    2. Henderson, J. Vernon & Roberts, Mark & Storeygard, Adam, 2013. "Is urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa different ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6481, The World Bank.

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