Posted: 31 August 2001

A process driven by net rural-to-urban migration through which an increasing percentage of the population in any nation or region come to live in settlements that are defined as 'urban centres'. The level of urbanisation is the percentage of the population living in urban areas. Populations tend to urbanise as their per capita income increases, since increasing proportions of the economic base are in industrial or service sectors, most of which are based in urban areas. The term 'urbanisation' is also used for the process by which agricultural, forest or other 'rural' land gets built over by urban areas or converted to other urban uses.