TABLE 3.2 Population in the Ganges/Brahmaputra and Indus Basins, by Elevation and Country

Country/Basin      <1,000 m 1,000 to 4,000 m >4,000 m
Afghanistan Population in Indus Basin 1,701,185 8,901,679 33,290
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 16.0% 83.7% 0.3%
Bhutan Population in Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin 193,974 496,887 8,986
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 27.7% 71.0% 1.3%
Bangladesh Population in Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin 103,326,928
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 27.7% 71.0% 1.3%
Bangladesh Population in Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin 103,326,928
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 100.0%
China Population in Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin 1,433 866,630 844,082
     Population in Indus Basin 1,084 34,501
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 0.08% 49.6% 50.3%
India Population in Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin 459,157,952 7,502,996 77,447
     Population in Indus Basin 26,539,558 9,431,329 103,821
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 96.6% 3.4% 0.04%
Nepal Population in Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin 19,239,788 9,604,421 107,634
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 66.5% 33.2% 0.4%
Pakistan Population in Indus Basin 134,747,024 13,159,600 197,836
     Share of basin population living in elevation zone 91.0% 8.9% 0.1%
Total population in Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin      581,920,075 18,470,934 1,038,149
Total population in Indus Basin      162,987,767 31,493,692 369,448
TOTAL      744,907,842 49,964,626 1,407,597
SOURCE: Data from Landscan (2010).

In 2000, Pakistan had the greatest percentage—one-third—of its population living in cities. Despite relatively low levels of urbanization, this region is home to some of the world’s largest cities: Dhaka (Bangladesh), Delhi (India), Kolkata (India), Mumbai (India), Karachi (Pakistan), Lahore (Pakistan).3 Cities are growing rapidly, with rates of urban growth that exceed those historically found in the West. In all countries in this region, the average annual rate of change of the urban population exceeds 2 percent, in Nepal and Bhutan, the rates exceed 4 percent per year (United Nations, 2011b). Nevertheless, the pace of urbanization in this region is not historically unusual (NRC, 2003a). Urbanization may also affect water demand. Wealthier and more urban populations, for example, have different dietary possibilities and preferences than their rural

TABLE 3.3 Urban Population Projections as Percent of Total Population, by Country 2010-2050.

2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050
Bangladesh 28.07 30.80 33.89 37.35 41.045 44.84 48.69 52.57 56.415
Bhutan 34.71 38.54 42.40 46.23 49.97 53.62% 57.22 60.75 64.17
India 30.01 31.72 33.89 36.56 39.75 43.30 46.93 50.58 54.23
Nepal 18.62 21.58 24.78 28.18 31.74 35.47 39.38 43.42 47.56
Pakistan 35.90 37.67 39.88 42.53 45.62 49.07 52.54 55.98 59.37

SOURCE: Based on data from United Nations (2011b).



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement