World Urbanization
Prospects, the 2011 Revision 
Glossary of
Demographic Terms 


Total
population 
De facto
population in a country, area or region as of 1 July of the year
indicated. Figures are presented in thousands. 
Urban
population 
De facto
population living in areas classified as urban according to the
criteria used by each area or country. Data refer to 1 July of the
year indicated and are presented in thousands. 
Rural
population 
De facto
population living in areas classified as rural. Data refer to 1 July
of the year indicated and are presented in thousands. 
Percentage
urban 
Urban
population as a percentage of the total population. 
Percentage
rural 
Rural
population as a percentage of the total population. 
Total annual
growth rate 
See: Average
annual rate of change of the total population 
Urban annual
growth rate 
See: Average
annual rate of change of the urban population 
Rural annual
growth rate 
See: Average
annual rate of change of the urban population 
Average annual
rate of change of the total population 
Average
exponential rate of growth of the population over a given period.
It is calculated as
ln(Pt/P0)/n
where n is the length of the period and P is the population.
It is expressed as a per cent. 
Average annual
rate of change of the urban population 
Average
exponential rate of growth of the urban population over a given
period. It is calculated as
ln(UPt/UP0)/n
where n is the length of the period and UP is the urban
population. It is expressed as a per cent. 
Average annual
rate of change of the rural population 
Average
exponential rate of growth of the rural population over a given
period. It is calculated as
ln(RPt/RP0)/n
where n is the length of the period and RP is the rural
population. It is expressed as a per cent. 
Average annual
rate of change of the percentage urban 
Average
exponential rate of change of the percentage urban over a given
period. It is calculated as
ln(PUt/PU0)/n
where n is the length of the period and PU is the percentage
urban. It is expressed as a per cent. 
Average annual
rate of change of the percentage rural 
Average
exponential rate of change of the percentage rural over a given
period. It is calculated as
ln(PRt/PR0)/n
where n is the length of the period and PR is the percentage
rural. It is expressed as a per cent. 
Urban
agglomeration 
Refers to the
de facto population contained within the contours of a contiguous
territory inhabited at urban density levels without regard to
administrative boundaries. It usually incorporates the population in
a city or town plus that in the suburban areas lying outside of but
being adjacent to the city boundaries. 
Metropolitan
area 
Includes both
the contiguous territory inhabited at urban levels of residential
density and additional surrounding areas of lower settlement density
that are also under the direct influence of the city (e.g., through
frequent transport, road linkages, commuting facilities etc.). 
City proper 
A locality
defined according to legal/political boundaries and an
administratively recognized urban status that is usually
characterized by some form of local government. 
Capital cities 
The designation
of any specific city as a capital city is done solely on the basis
of the designation as reported by the country or area. The city can
be the seat of the government as determined by the country. Few
countries designate more than one city to be a capital city with a
specific title function (e.g., administrative and/or legislative
capital). 
Urban
agglomerations annual growth rate 
See: Average
annual rate of change of urban agglomerations 
Average annual
rate of change of urban agglomerations 
Average
exponential rate of growth of the population of urban agglomerations
over a given period. It is calculated as
ln(PUAt/PUA0)/n
where n is the length of the period and PUA is the population
of urban agglomerations. It is expressed as a per cent. 
Percentage of
the urban population residing in urban agglomerations 
Population
residing in urban agglomerations as a percentage of the total urban
population. 
Percentage of
the total population residing in urban agglomerations 
Population
residing in urban agglomerations as a percentage of the total
population 
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