Urbanization is increasing in Ethiopia and 19% of the population now lives in urban areas. Towns and cities have grown at such a pace that meeting the infrastructure and services needs of the population is a significant challenge. As part of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (2015-2020), the government is monitoring social and economic trends associated with urbanization but little is known about its effects on welfare. Analysing night light intensity, a team of local PEP researchers found that urban growth—particularly the expansion of small towns—can improve household welfare in the short-term. When small rural towns grow, people have a broader range of economic opportunities, including work outside of the farming sector.
Find out more about the research methods, findings and policy recommendations in the following PEP publications: