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China accelerating urbanization (1)
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08:08, September 30, 2007

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According to the "Report on economic and social development between the 16th and 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China VII: Urban socio-economic development in harmony," issued by National Bureau of Statistics on September 26, there were a total of 661 cities in China in 2006. There is a gross urban population of 577 million people, accounting for 43.9% of the country's total population.

Level of urbanization continuously improving

The urbanization ratio in eastern, central and western China was 54.6%, 40.4%, and 35.7%.

With the accelerated pace of industrialization, China's level of urbanization also rose. In 2006, the gross urban population was 577.1 million people, accounting for 43.9% of country's total population. The level of urbanization was 4.8 percentage points higher than in 2002. In regional terms, the urbanization ratio of the eastern, central and western China was 54.6%, 40.4% and 35.7% in 2006. From a regional perspective, Shanghai had the highest urbanization level, with a ratio of 88.7%, followed by Beijing and Tianjin at 84.3% and 75.7%.

In 2006, China had a total of 661 cities, including 287 cities at prefecture level or above – eight more than there were in 2002. The GDP of the cities at prefecture level or above (counties under city administration excluded) increased from 6.4 trillion yuan in 2002 to 13.2 trillion yuan in 2006 - increasing 1.1 times. The proportion to the country's total GDP also rose from 53.4% in 2002 to 63.2% in 2006. A total of 30 cities reported a GDP over 100 billion yuan – 18 more than in 2002. Of these 30, 12 cities reported a GDP greater than 200 billion yuan. Local revenue of cities at prefecture level or above (counties under city administration excluded), in 2006, reached 1.1 trillion yuan, an increase of 1.1 times over 2002; and accounts for 59.3% of the country's total local revenue.

City clusters leading development

In addition to the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Bohai Sea region, another eight city clusters have sprung up.

A system of urban development gradually takes shape. Apart from the city clusters in the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, and the Bohai Sea region, China has witnessed the establishment of eight new city clusters in the delta areas of Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou and southern Fujian Province, Shandong Peninsula, southern and central Liaoning Province, central China, the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, the west side of the Taiwan Gulf, Sichuan and Chongqing, and central Shaanxi Province.

In 2006 the GDP of the Bohai Sea region, the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta (including counties under administration of cities) reached 7.8 trillion yuan, accounting for 37.4% of China's total GDP. The GDP of city clusters at the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Bohai Sea region reached 3.96 trillion yuan, 2.2 trillion yuan, and 1.7 trillion yuan – accounting for 18.9%, 10.3% and 8.2% of the country's total. The per capital GDP of the three (including counties under administration of cities) were 37,819 yuan, 49,093 yuan and 32,036 yuan – significantly higher than the national average.

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