VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s a debate for a lot of families – live in the city, or set up house in the suburbs.

The United Nations is warning that children are at risk as people around the world move into urban areas.

A report from UNICEF says cities aren’t keeping up with huge spikes in population growth, and that leaves children vulnerable to crime, poverty, and the loss of their basic rights to shelter and education.

In developing countries, more than a third of children born in cities are never registered and are invisible to decision-makers – in countries in Africa and South Asia, that number jumps to half. When they grow up, they can’t find a job.

The report calls on planners and politicians to shift their thinking and put the needs of children first when it comes to designing cities.

The full report is called The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World.