Metropolitan area

economic-dictionary

A metropolitan area is an urban center with a large territorial and demographic extension, where economic development activities are concentrated that result in high demand for living in them

You have probably heard this concept in your country, since in most countries there is one. It is the metropolitan area, an urban center of concentration and a large number of inhabitants, with significant economic activity and where more than two cities converge.

Importance of a metropolitan area

Metropolitan areas have several aspects in common, since they are centers where there are opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and economic development, where many people live and where people are constantly emigrating.

Some of its main characteristics are the following:

  • They concentrate a large number of inhabitants (more than one million).
  • They are the set of several cities imaginatively divided by adjoining streets.
  • There are commercial, financial and productive centers, which attracts the job offer.
  • The peripheries of metropolitan areas are inhabited by workers of the productive labor force.

Opportunities in metropolitan areas

These urban centers, being an important pole of economic development, require a large number of people to work in them in different tasks. From direct labor, to professionals trained to supervise and direct companies and industries.

This constitutes great opportunities for people who live in nearby cities, as well as for those who live in less urban or rural areas and are looking for job opportunities that do not exist in their territories.

At the same time, metropolitan areas have a territorial order consistent with their needs. This means that the complete production chain that allows its operation can be found.

We find in them:

  • Schools and kindergartens.
  • Universities with training offer related to what the metropolitan area and the country demand.
  • Companies and industrial companies that offer employment and opportunities.
  • Banks and financial centers.
  • Entertainment, leisure and recreation services.
  • Health centers with the necessary technology to meet the needs of the metropolis.
  • Means of transportation that connect the cities that make up the metropolitan area.

Living in a metropolitan area is living in a place where the end of the day does not exist, or, of constant operation. That is why, for example, New York, one of the best-known metropolitan areas in the world, is called "the city that never sleeps." Precisely because their level of economic activity is so powerful that it is not allowed to stop production systems, because there is a demand or need for something at all times: food, health, entertainment, etc.

Growth of countries with metropolitan areas

Countries that have only one metropolitan area in their capital generally centralize their economic activity in that geographical area, an aspect that has advantages and disadvantages, but which, by the way, are key when measuring the country's economic growth.

Advantages of metropolitan areas:

  • They concentrate opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and life projection, due to the presence of services.
  • They allow mobility from one city to another at low cost, since public transport is articulated as in a big city. Question that if they had a greater geographical distance it would be more expensive.
  • The employment alternatives are larger and more diverse, giving opportunity to people with less job qualifications.
  • They allow the commercial exchange of goods and services with foreigners, thanks to the presence of international airports, or ports or land ports that leave the country.

Disadvantages of metropolitan areas:

  • The speed with which it works consumes people's time, since they spend time traveling and working, reducing the quality of life with their families.
  • Air pollution levels are higher due to the emission of polluting gases from public transport and industries located in it.
  • Urbanity and economic development attract the attention of crime, which is why they are riskier areas and with a greater probability of the occurrence of criminal acts.
  • The cost of living is higher than other non-metropolitan cities, given the added value of living close to opportunities.

Metropolitan areas are constantly growing, and in addition, every day new cities are projected to be metropolitan areas, so that in the future this reality will be of many more people.

This poses adaptive challenges, both for people in their role as workers, entrepreneurs or inhabitants, as well as for the States, who must ensure an adequate territorial ordering and capable of meeting the needs of all its inhabitants.

Another phenomenon that metropolitan areas attract, together with the internal migration of the country, is the migration of foreigners, who do not have urban centers of these characteristics, and who seek to contribute with their workforce to the development of industries and with it, achieve sustenance for their families, who still live in so-called "third world" countries.

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