Social engagement
Famous prodigy from Poznan is 21 and speaks seven languages
Rapid increase in slum dwellers: A frightening future

Rapid increase in slum dwellers: A frightening future

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
15.03.2024 16:15

The Polish Economic Institute has released alarming data on the increasing number of people living in poverty, with over one billion individuals residing in slums globally.

A slum is an area of a city inhabited by impoverished people, often immigrants or those from rural areas. These areas are most common in the large conurbations of the Global South, which were once referred to as Third World countries. Slums can be found in Africa, Asia, and South America.

The name 'slum' originated in 19th-century industrial British cities, where more than 60% of the city's area was occupied by overcrowded residential areas with very low living standards. Today, most buildings in slums are makeshift structures made from whatever materials the residents can find, such as planks, sheet metal, and crates.

Unfortunately, according to the United Nations, there is an alarming increase in the number of people forced to live in appalling poverty, with over one billion people worldwide currently affected.

The Polish Economic Institute and data on slums

A new edition of the "Tygodnik Gospodarczy" was recently published on the Polish Economic Institute's website. The magazine covers various important topics from Poland, Europe, and the world. One issue discussed in this edition is the growing number of people who have to live in slums worldwide.

According to the United Nations, over one billion people live in slums. In the first two decades of the 21st century, the global population of people living in shantytowns increased by 165 million to 1.06 billion in 2020. The UN defines a slum-dwelling household as lacking one or more of the following goods: easy access to fresh water, water and sanitation infrastructure, adequate living space, and the sustainability of the building in which one lives or has permanent shelter.

Where do slums form?

According to a report by "Tygodnik Gospodarczy," slums and impoverished districts mostly form in regions with high social stratification and inefficient state institutions. Rapid urbanisation, inefficient urban planning, and low housing availability for poverty-stricken households and low-income families contribute to the formation of extremely poor neighbourhoods.

Africa and Asia are home to 85 per cent of all people living in slums worldwide, with the largest neighbourhoods characterised by extreme poverty located in South and Central Asia. In India, which has the most significant number of slums worldwide, approximately 237 million people live in shanty towns, according to Jędrzej Lubasiński of the Polish Economic Institute. Chad, an African country, has the highest percentage of people living in slums, with 82 per cent of the urban population affected.

Unfortunately, the United Nations predicts that the number of slum dwellers will continue to increase as the human population grows. Poor neighbourhoods are projected to become even more numerous, with the UN estimating that the number of slum dwellers could reach two billion within the next 30 years.

Source: Polish Economic Institute

Let us know what do you think
  • emoji heart - number of votes: 0
  • emoji fire - number of votes: 0
  • emoji smile - number of votes: 0
  • emoji sad - number of votes: 0
  • emoji anger - number of votes: 0
  • emoji poop - number of votes: 0
Teachers express scepticism as superintendents review schools' response to harassment