Urban centre

Posted: 31 August 2001

A concentration of people, buildings and economic activities which meet the criteria set by the government in its definition of what constitutes an 'urban centre'. Most governments define urban centres in one of three ways: population thresholds; population thresholds combined with other criteria (for instance the proportion of the economically active population in non-agricultural activities); and administrative or political status. There is no agreement about what population threshold to use; some nations classify all settlements with more than a few hundred inhabitants as urban while others use thresholds of 10,000 or 20,000 inhabitants.