What is a Primate City?

A primate city is a vast urban environment that is disproportionately the largest city in the country or region. The primary cities boast of domination over other cities, they are unrivaled political and economic centers and, in most cases, they are the capital and administrative centers of the country.

The Primate City Theory

Geographer Mark Jefferson developed the ideology of the city of primates in 1939. Jefferson defined a primate city as the city that is twice as large as the next city and twice as significant. Primate cities are the face of the country, tend to host international events and develop better infrastructure than other cities or cities.

Jefferson determined the degree of primacy of a city by calculating and comparing the relationship between the size of the second and third cities and that of the largest city. His discovery was that in several countries the largest city was two or three times larger than the next city and the population ratio was around 100: 30: 20. He also stated that there are various reasons why a city would be too great for its neighbors and, once done, it attracts investments and draws resources that would otherwise have been directed to other cities. Although the sequence of reports was later ignored, the idea of ​​the city of primates was shared by many. Subsequently, economists and theorists have emphasized that the cities of the primates tend to be the capitals of the countries in which they are found. Most of these cities can be traced back to the colonial past. After Jefferson’s study, two more studies were conducted, first by Fryer (1953) and Murphey (1957). Fryer has isolated cities with a population of over one million in South-East Asia and has analyzed their position, growth model and morphology. On the other hand, Murphy traced the development of cities in Asia, most of which began as port centers

Role played by the primate cities

Primate cities play a crucial role in national and global economies. The economist Bert F. Hoselitz insisted that urbanization does not necessarily have to be generative of economic growth and that the colonial cities located were imprisoned and remained stagnant. The revenues generated by trade, capital accumulation, agriculture and other economic activities were directed towards urban construction. This led to the migration of capital and labor to larger cities that were more prospective. Today most of the capitals, particularly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, have acquired the status of primate cities. London and Paris are among the cities of the most important primates,

Primate city all over the world

However, not all countries have primate cities. The United States, China, Germany, Canada, India, South Africa and Brazil are among the great economies without such cities. The capital of Canada is overshadowed by Toronto and Montreal which are considered global cities, while Germany boasts Berlin, Frankfurt, Bonn and Dresden. In the United States, the capital is overshadowed by New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and 17 more cities.

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