Graph of the Week

 

From The Economist in October 2012 (via Rachel Strom)

I haven’t studied urbanization for it’s own sake, although I almost always include a measure of urbanization in my analysis. The backward sloping arrows for Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Liberia have piqued my interest, but is the answer simply that conflict is bad for growth?

On a related note, could it be the case that urbanization only increase GDP per capita if people move to the cities for actual jobs, not theoretical jobs / to escape from rural life?  Rapid urbanization when there aren’t jobs could only lead to an increase in slum dwellers, where the quality of living will rarely be better than before.