Dec 29, 2009

New free gis database: World database of large urban areas, 1950-2050

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Nordpil is happy to share data that we prepared for a project earlier in 2009. Using the data request service provided by the UN Population Division, we have assembled and georeferenced the data from the World Urbanization Prospects, 2007 revision. This database represents the historic, current and future estimates and projections with number of inhabitants for the world’s largest urban areas from 1950-2050. The data covers cities and other urban areas with more than 750 thousand people.

The data is available in various formats:

  • Map view over the situation in 2005.
  • Download in shape file format for use in GIS software.
  • Table/spreadsheet format for use in database and spreadsheet software.
  • A Google Earth tour and interactive display, including tables and charts for each individual city and with animated time series.
  • A video clip animating the development from 1950 through today up to the projections for 2050.

The database is available for unrestricted download, under the Creative Commons 2.5 attribution license. This gives you the right to reuse and modify the data, as long as Nordpil and the UN Population Division are properly credited.

For full information and downloads, please visit

Hugo Ahlenius (
Phone: +46-757575284