Population balance to tilt toward cities in next 5 years

17:19, December 15, 2010      

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Based on the annual growth rate of nearly 1 percentage point, China's urban population will outnumber rural population during the middle of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), according to Li Peilin, editor-in-chief of the social blue book on Wednesday.

Li, also a director of the Institute of Sociology of the Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS), said this during a conference on social situation analysis and prediction and blue book release held on Wednesday.

Li said China would lead the world into the post-crisis period and start a new round of growth. During this new stage, urbanization, following the industrialization, will become a major new force to promote rapid economic and social development.

"We expect that in 2010 the level of urbanization will reach 48 percent," Li said.

Li noted that cities' rapid development has brought big city problems. China still has a large rural population, but cities are becoming overcrowded. In particular, issues such as housing and traffic have become more and more striking. But It is inevitable in the process of China's development.

In the process of urban development, through changes in consumption patterns and large-scale urban infrastructure construction, city development has injected new vitality into economic development. During the 12th Five-Year Plan, the proportion of agricultural output will decline to less than 10 percent for the first time in the history, said Li.

Li stressed that the current economic and social changes are inconsistent. The share of agricultural output is small and that of employment and rural population are relatively large. The rural workforce accounts for around 37 percent of the total employment rate, and rural population makes up more than 50 percent in permanent population.

By Liang Jun, People's Daily Online
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