Mumbai's Dharavi slum, where the population density exceeds 200,000 people per square kilometer. Photo: Flickr

Mumba is the world’s second most crowded city, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). India’s financial capital has an average density of 31,700 people per sq km and its Dharavi slum is home to over 200,000 per sq km.

With an average population density of 44,500 people per square kilometer, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the most crowded city on the planet. Another Indian city, Kota in Rajasthan, which has an average density of 12,100 people per square kilometer, is seventh on the forum’s top 10 list.

Medellin in Columbia (19,700 people per sq km) is the third most dense, Manila in the Philippines (14,800) is fourth, Casablanca in Morocco ( 14,200) comes fifth, Lagos in Nigeria (13,300) is sixth, Abuja (10,500) is eighth, Singapore (10,200) is ninth and Jakarta (9,600) is 10th.

The WEF said: “There are various reasons why vast numbers of people decide to settle in urban areas, but in the majority of cases it boils down to the simple fact that cities are where the work is.”

According to PTI, 54% of the world’s population is settled in urban areas, and the United Nations expects that proportion to increase to 66% by 2050, with close to 90% of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa.

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