China's urbanization rate nears 46%

15:54, September 28, 2010      

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China's urbanization rate reached 45.7 percent by the end of 2008, and a multi-level urban system has been formed with metropolises at the center, small and mid-sized cities forming the backbone and the small towns as the base, according to a forum on Chinese city brand development Monday.

Li Jingwen, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of the Economics and Management School at Beijing University of Technology, said China's urbanization rate reached 45.7 percent in 2008 – up from 10.6 percent in 1949 – and the urban population hit 607 million as of 2008.

Li also said that China's megalopolises account for close to 9 percent of the total number of cities. The number of major cities accounts for 12.52 percent, and mid-sized and small cities account for 35.4 percent and 43.2 percent, respectively.

Li said the number of cities with a population of more than 1 million nationwide was 58, accounting for nearly 9 percent of all the cities. The number of cities with populations between 500,000 to 1 million is 82, accounting for 32 percent. The population of small towns is nearly 86 million, accounting for 32 percent of the total population.

Experts say China is expected to have 50 percent of the population living in cities by 2020 and 75 percent by the end of 2050.

Currently, the average urbanization rate in the world is 46 percent. For high-income countries, it approaches 77 percent, while in middle-income countries it is 50 percent and 31 percent in low-income countries.

By Zhao Chenyan, People's Daily Online


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