Where Is Namibia?
Namibia is located in the southern region of Africa, with borders along the Atlantic Ocean, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, and South Africa. It covers an area of 318,696 square miles and has a population of 2,113,077. While most of the residents here live in rural areas and small towns, many also live in the country’s cities. This article takes a look at some of the most populated cities in Namibia.
The 3 Biggest Cities In Namibia
Windhoek is both the capital and biggest city of Namibia. It has a population size of 268,132 although recent rural to urban migration has pushed that number up to 325,858. This city is located in the central region of the country, surrounded by the Khomas Highland plateau area. Due to its location near a permanent spring, this area has always drawn human inhabitants. In 1840, the population grew significantly after the construction of a church. The next significant growth did not occur until after World War II when schools, hospitals, and transportation infrastructure were built. Today, Windhoek is the administrative and economic center of Namibia. In fact, more than 50% of the non-agricultural related employment in this country is available here. It is also home to the vast majority of jobs in utilities, transport and communication, and finance and business.
Following Windhoek is Rundu as the second most populated city in Namibia. It has a population of 58,172 although some estimates are as high as 63,430, indicating rapid growth. This city is located in the northern area of the country and is the capital of the Kavango-East Region. It has been the capital of this region since 1936. The local economy here revolves around the Rundu Open Market, which was a project developed between the government of Namibia and the government of Luxembourg. This city is also home to the largest city in the region and the Namibian Defence Force, a military base. Additionally, woodcarving is a common economic activity here.
The third biggest city in Namibia is Walvis Bay with a population of 52,058. This city is located on the coast, named for the Walvis Bay. This bay serves as a natural ship harbor and because of its diverse marine life and plankton, attracts large populations of southern right whales. Fishing and whaling are common economic practices here. European explorers originally discovered this bay in 1485, when it became an important stop along the Cape of Good Hope trade route. Fishing continues to be an important industry to the local economy.
Other cities located in Namibia can be found in the chart published below.
Environmental Threats Due To Urbanization
Rural to urban migration in Namibia has contributed to rapid urbanization, particularly Windhoek, which presents a significant problem for the environment. As the need for housing and cooking fires increases, deforestation and unsustainable wood harvesting have become rampant. Additionally, the increasing urban populations are leading to an increased demand for water and shortages have also become problematic. What water is available is being contaminated by industrial, agricultural, and urban waste and runoff. Additionally, overcrowding and unsanitary lifestyles contribute to poor public health throughout urban centers.