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Most West Indians depend on agriculture for a livelihood, but since the Second World War a rapidly increasing proportion has resided in towns and, more especially, in the capital cities. High rates of natural increase together with cityward migration have inflated the urban areas and created a grave imbalance between social and economic forces. Dependence on tertiary refuge activities, the growth of unemployment, the overcrowding of tenements and rent yards and the development of squatting are hallmarks of Caribbean urbanization. Public housing is negligible, regional planning weak and the social hierarchy is expressed geographically— though Cuba contradicts many of these findings. The conclusion argues that encouragement of the positive aspects of squatting should form part of an urban strategy for the Caribbean.
Geography © 1974 Geographical Association