China’s growth rate faces serious challenges: the population growth behind recent economic success is slowing sharply. The country’s solution is urbanisation - encouraging workers to leave rural areas to find work in cities - but will it work?

Singapore promotes fertility

Government aims to turn around falling birth rates

Interactive and videos

See the change and values for each social class
Christopher Booker on the city’s attempts to update its transport infrastructure
Ageing population
Global ageing reflects human success as longevity rises across the world, but bringing with it severe challenges

Peru thirsts for capital water supply

Tight water supply in Lima is threatening the capital’s aims to achieve further growth

US industrial heartland weighs up immigration reforms

Report makes the case of positive immigration impact in the Midwestern states

China reaps benefits of urbanisation

Incoming administration promotes additional urbanisation despite potential stumbling blocks

Entrepreneurs try to numb the pain in Spain

Younger generation looks to take advantage of the property bubble rather than fall victim to it


Poor air adds to China health concerns

The current crisis risks overburdening the country’s creaking medical system

How Sandy became the tipping point for city’s response to climate change

New York assesses its future as a coastal city where retreat from the coast is not realistic or desirable

Urban demographics

Africa’s middle class seeks status brands

Kenya’s affluent are seeking premium goods and prospects for growth look good enough for a new market to take off, as Katrina Manson discovers.

Scottish independence: Sharp UK divide over immigration

North of the border there is a need for newcomers but the UK’s desire is to keep foreigners at bay

Russia: Putin’s hopes for a rising birth rate are not shared by experts

The president has hailed an increase in the numbers of births as good news but experts say expectations of a rising population could be short lived

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Africa: Aspiration drives consumption boom

Businesses are not just targeting the continent’s rising middle class because they have deeper pockets, but because of how they spend their cash

Developing nations: The underworld of expat remittances

The dark side of remittances, including an escalating ‘brain drain’ from developing countries, is driving proposals to reform payments systems

Part 1

Skills deficit holds India back

Increasing numbers of young people will not translate into a demographic dividend unless the country can solve its educational problems

Video: New Delhi faces pollution crisis

India could be burnt by global warming

Instead of delivering a demographic dividend, the country’s population boom could make it vulnerable to climate change

Interactive graphic: Rise of the megacities

Megacities’ change over time

Out of control population

Exponential rises in population in the poorest countries of the world are creating a huge global imbalance that must be addressed

All change for China’s one-child policy?

The slowdown in births coupled with a rise in the number of pensioners could force a rethink of the country’s population-control strategy

Megacities shift the world’s centre of gravity

Urban sprawl is gathering pace in the developing world

The human cost of the Arab spring

Aid agencies are struggling to cope with the large number of displaced people created by uprisings in the Middle East and Africa

The evidence on immigration

Migration has been cited as a drain on the UK’s creaking infrastructure but are there genuine economic benefits for businesses and overall growth?

Precarious livelihoods trap Jakarta’s young

Indonesia has one of the world’s youngest populations but its capital struggles to offer skilled jobs, leaving many to scratch a living