FOUR out of five Latin Americans live in cities, compared with fewer than half of Asians or Africans. The region’s 198 biggest cities—those with more than 200,000 people—account for 60% of its economic output, with the ten largest alone generating half of that. The productivity gains that flow from bringing people together in cities have been one of the drivers of economic growth in Latin America over the past half century or more. But congestion, housing shortages, pollution and a lack of urban planning mean that Latin America’s biggest cities now risk dragging down their country’s economies, according to a report* by the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of McKinsey, a firm of management consultants.
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