Friday, November 30, 2007

The Internet and urban migration in developing nations

We have discussed the digital divide between rich and poor nations and proposals for closing it. We have argued that closing the digital divide would improve the quality of rural life in developing nations, thereby reducing the impetus for migration from rural areas to urban slums.

A recent estimate holds that half of the world population now lives in urban areas, and the UN predicts that will grow to 59.9 % by 2030.

This will lead to increased crowding and the growth of megacities. For a description of one such megacity, Bombay, see this book by Suketu Mehta, or listen to this interview.

Do you believe the Internet could improve life in rural areas of developing nations? Do you believe that would cut migration to cities?