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As beautiful as many countries are, there is still a presence of slum in one or more of its cities. 863 million people called a slum their home as of 2012. The rates of negative effects that arise from slums are alarming. They affect everything about a community, from education to natural disasters. This article tends to provide information about the top ten largest slums in the world. This piece of work aids to provide information concerning the abode of some persons in the world.

About a quarter (part) of the world’s urban population lives in slums. A slum is a place that is an overpopulated metropolis, which consists of a highly dense settlement, weak housing units in a situation of deteriorated or incomplete housing structure, occupied mainly by a broke or poor individual or group (family or any group of friends). Slums are different in size and other featured characteristics, the majority of slums are short of reliable supply of clean water, sanitation services, law enforcement, reliable electricity and other basic life necessities. The nature of residences in slums varies from shanty houses to professionally designed and built houses which, because of mediocre construction or provision of basic maintenance is dilapidated.

The Biggest Slums In The World 2018

The increase and the desire of individuals or groups to reside in urban areas have made slums common in various countries. Slums are still predominantly found in urban regions of developing countries but are also still found in developed economies.

Slums form and grow in different parts of the world for reasons which vary. The causes for the rapid increase in slum formation and growth consist of

  1. Rapid rural-to-urban migration;
  2. Informal economy
  3. Forced or manipulated ghetto formation;
  4. Poor planning, politics; and
  5. Economic stagnation and depression;
  6. High unemployment, poverty;
  7. Natural disasters and social conflicts.

Ideas and strategies have been put in place so as to curb the increase and high rate of slum development and transform slums in different countries from the devastated state to something somewhat healthily habitable, with varying degrees of success, this includes an arrangement or consensus for slum removal, relocation of slum, upgrading of slum, urban planning with citywide infrastructure development, and public housing.


The world is evolving into an urban and global village with utmost speed, the global population of slum dwellers grows continuously and tremendously. Also, urban slums are fast becoming the world’s fastest-growing human habitat. In some cities in the developing parts of the world, slum residents account for more than half of the population and often do not have education, adequate shelter, clean water, and sanitation, or health care.


    • Residents: 19 MILLION
largest slum in the world

MAHARASHTRA, INDIA – The Biggest slum in the world

Maharashtra has over 112 million residences and its capital, Mumbai, India and has a population of approximately 18 million. Maharashtra is representative of the wealth gap in the country and despite it is one of India’s most developed and wealthiest states, it houses India’s largest and poorest “slum,” the slum area of the state is inhabited by 19 million residents. Within the state, there are seven slums. The slum is compactly inhabited and there are various slum settlements. 7,000 slums out of the 33,000 slums (23%) in India is housed in Maharashtra with homes almost double that of any other slum in the country and it is the most populated region in the world.


    • Residents: 4 MILLION
world largest slum

CIUDAD NEZA, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – The Second Largest Slum In The World

Ciudad Neza is a slum and closely packed residence which reputation for crime and in need of more schools and local jobs, it has become more like a suburb thanks to residents’ efforts to build a community and deliver public services. It is located close to Mexico City, the slum houses of 4 million people. Most of the inhabitants of the slum are poor and migrated from other parts of Mexico to the place.


    • Residents: 2.5 MILLION
largest slums in the world


This slum is just 5km from the center city of Nairobi. Kibera’s population is huge which is 2.5 million and of which more than 50,000 children, most of whom go to informal schools set up by residents and churches. Most of the people in this slum are living on an extremely low income, earning less than $1 per day, the rate of unemployment is high, persons with the case of HIV & Aids in the slum are many. On several occasions, the Residents living in this settlement have gone to court to prevent the government from building a road through Kibera, bulldozing and destroying schools and clinics and thousands of homes.


    • Residents: 1.8 MILLION
biggest slum in the world


This is the biggest slum in Pakistan and fourth among the largest slums in the world. It is located in the North West part of Karachi, in Orangi Town housing more than 1.8 million inhabitants. It is Asia largest slum. When the inhabitants of Orangi Town were tired of living without proper sanitation and healthy environment, the residents gave up waiting for the government to mount sewers and built them by hand themselves. Presently over 8000 (90%) of Orangi Town’s streets and lanes have sewerage pipes, constructed by residents.


    • Residents: 1.5 MILLION
slum in the world

MANSHIET, EGYPT- among the largest slums in the world

Manshiet is the biggest in Egypt; it is situated in Cairo, the population of Manshiet residence is over 1.5 million. It is well known for the Garbage City quarter, a slum settlement at the far southern end of Manshiyat Naser, which is at the base of Mokattam hills on the outskirts of Cairo. Being the largest concentration of Zabbaleen garbages collectors in Cairo’, it serves as sources of livelihood and economy circumvent around the collection and recycling of the city’s garbage. Despite there are streets, shops, and apartments in these as other areas of the city, yet, the infrastructure is poor and most of the time there is no running water, sewers, or electricity.


    • Residents: 1 MILLION

Amazingly, this is where the famous movie “Slumdog Millionaire” was filmed. Dharavi is a district in Mumbai and it is the second biggest slum in Asia and one of the overcrowded settlements in the world with a population of a 277,136/square kilometer, the slum holds 1,000,000 people. Thousands of small businesses thrive in this place. The slum has undergone various phases of many disasters and epidemic cases which include a widespread plague in 1896 which killed more than half of the population of Mumbai. The economy of the slum is active due to the fact that there are several household enterprises which employ many of the residents in the slum as workers in leather, textiles, and pottery products are among the goods made inside Dharavi.


    • Residents: 400, 000

Coming seventh on the list of the largest slums in the world is a notorious area and it is one of the most dangerous areas in the western hemisphere. The area is highly overpopulated with over 200,000 to 400,000 people. The majority of whom live in extreme poverty and it is generally regarded as one of the poorest and most dangerous areas of the Western Hemisphere and it is one of the biggest slums in the Northern Hemisphere in Haiti. The area has practically no drainage system and it has a poorly maintained open canal system that serves as its sewage system. There are a few businesses in the area but have many local commercial activities and enterprises which serve as a livelihood to the inhabitants, the electricity is not regular though it is free, sparse hospitals, and two government schools are situated in the slum.


    • Residents: 392,000

It is one of the biggest towns in South Africa. About 12,000 residents had no access to toilets. Most of the residents have to walk a long way without light or make use of inadequate temporary toilets like potties or chemical toilets. Others make use fields or bushes as they have no access at all to latrines, as for children they cannot go alone but accompanied by parent, guardian or neighbor which is often not always possible for them.”


    • Residents: 86, 000

Though it may be much more, the population is estimated to be 86,000. It is one of the biggest slums in the world. Makoko is a neighborhood across the 3rd Mainland Bridge situated on the coast of the mainland in Lagos. One-third of the community is built on stilts along the lagoon and the rest is on the land.


    • Residents: 70,000

The slum is situated in the south of Rio De Janeiro South Zone between the districts of São Conrado and Gávea. Rochina is the biggest slum in Brazil. According to the 2010 census, the ghetto holds more than 70,000 people; it is built on a steep hillside overlooking Rio de Janeiro located one kilometer from a close by beach. Most of the building in the slum is on a very steep hill having many trees surrounding it.



Here you have the largest slums in the world, they are being listed based on the population of inhabitant in the place. More so it shows that some slum though poorly developed yet have their thriving small-scale business to provide their livelihood and cater for their needs. Also, it shows that majority of the listed slum houses a large part of the population of a nation.

Tags: The Largest Slums In The World, Top 10 Biggest Slums In The World

Updated: June 13, 2018 — 9:47 am

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