Coasts have always been a popular place to live and prosper. Access to a major body of water was vital to a city or civilization’s existence in the past (and to some extent, today, as well). Today, coasts are still areas of major population and wealth accumulation, but new research suggests the population may be spreading inward, away from the coasts.
As Co. Exist reports, in 2010 1.9 billion people, or 27 percent of the world’s population, lived on the 9 percent of the earth’s land that was less than 100 kilometers from the shore and at lower than 100 meters in elevation. Additionally, 17 out of the 30 largest cities in the world are located in coastal areas. However, despite these numbers, growth in population is actually beginning to slowly spread away from the coasts, according to work published in Environmental Research Letters. Cities at higher elevations and away from coasts are growing faster than coastal regions today.