IELTS Writing Task 2 #249

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In many countries around the world, rural people are moving to cities, so the population in the countryside is decreasing.

Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model answer

Statistics show that the world's population is increasing rapidly. It is expected that most of us will be living in cities within the next few decades. The question of whether urbanisation is a positive or negative development remains controversial.

A rapid influx of people moving from rural to urban areas is bound to cause problems. Firstly, pressure on resources such as housing and transportation intensifies. It is becoming difficult for many people to afford adequate housing in cities. A by-product of this is the creation of slums causing low-income families to group together in neglected parts of the city. These people often become trapped in a cycle of poverty that is difficult to escape.

As mentioned above, the growth of urban areas can also lead to severe traffic congestion because more and more vehicles travel into the city from the suburbs. This has many knock-on effects, such as problems with air quality. It also leads many city dwellers to experience mental health issues because travelling across large cities is tiring and stressful.

All of this being said, I don't believe that urbanisation is a wholly negative development. There are advantages to living in large cities that are well managed. For example, there are more schools which means more education opportunities. Access to higher-quality health care is often better in cities. Some cities have also introduced ride-sharing, e-bikes and part and ride services that reduce environmental problems.

My opinion is that many of the problems associated with urbanisation are avoidable but dealing with increasing populations in cities is a formidable challenge. How governments, businesses and society respond to this challenge will dramatically affect the future of our world.

(277 words)


This response addresses both sides of the question and presents a position, that the movement to cities is not a [wholly negative development]. The second and third paragraphs lay out the problems that can be caused by a [rapid influx] of people to urban areas [housing / transportation / traffic congestion] and the fourth paragraph presents some of the advantages [education opportunities / higher-quality health care / environmental transport initiatives].

However, the part of the question about 'the population in the countryside ... decreasing' is not covered. The candidate would need to include it to provide a full answer to this question.

Information and ideas are logically organised and there is a clear progression, starting with the challenges and ending with a range of advantages.

Vocabulary is used with a natural and sophisticated control [bound to / trapped in a cycle of poverty / severe traffic congestion / knock-on effects], although rare errors remain [education opportunities / educational opportunities]. Grammar is flexible and accurate, with a wide range of structures included. There are some shorter sentences which could be extended and more multi-clause examples could be included to add complexity.

To improve this response, consideration should be given to the impact of the shrinking population in the countryside.

Dear readers,

This is to inform you that we have moved to a new domain,

Our old domain, will remain active till the time we migrate all our content to the new domain.

We look forward to your continuing support.