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China’s permanent urbanization rate hits 57.4 per cent

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    15:34, July 13, 2017
China’s permanent urbanization rate hits 57.4 per cent

A total of 57.4 per cent of China’s population lived in cities in 2016, up by 4.8 per cent since the end of 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. The average disposable income per capita of urban residents was 33,616 RMB ($4,951), an annual increase of 6.5 per cent since 2012.

According to NBS, the number of cities in China stood at 657 by the end of last year, including 4 municipalities, 15 sub-provincial cities, 278 prefecture-level cities and 360 county-level cities.

The administration pointed out that China has gradually developed its urban agglomerations. The three major agglomerations in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, accommodated 23 per cent of the country’s population with only 5.2 percent of territory, contributing 39.4 per cent to national GDP. This has become a significant platform that drives economic growth and promotes international cooperation and competition.

54.7 per cent of China’s population lived in cities as the urbanization rate continues to grow. By the end of 2015, 446.39 million people had registered for households in cities above prefectural level, giving an average annual growth rate of 3.5 per cent since 2012.

According to NBS, the scale of China’s urban economy has continuously expanded. The GDP of cities above prefectural level in 2015 totaled 42.84 trillion RMB, increasing by 33 per cent in comparison to 2012. 

The expanded economy has resulted in increased livelihood expenditure. The public financial expenditure of cities reached 6.69 trillion RMB, a rise of 49.7 per cent compared to 2012.

China has further improved its people’s living standards and residential environment, the administration noted. In 2016, the disposable incomes of urban residents averaged 33,616 RMB, increasing by 9,489 RMB as compared to 2012. The country has experienced continuous improvements in livelihoods, upgrade of consumption structure and decreased share of food expenditure in household spending. 

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