Urbanisation Could Resolve China’s Shrinking Workforce
China’s urbanisation rate is set to beat previous international predictions over the next decade, providing an antidote to the country’s shrinking workforce and declining birth-rate. About 75 per cent of the Chinese population will be living in cities by 2030, up from the current 64 per cent, said Lu Ming, an economics professor at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University specialising in urban development.
Rapid urbanisation has fuelled China’s economic boom over the past four decades, with the share of urban residents surging from around 20 per cent of the population when economic reforms started in 1979. In the past decade alone, the country added more than 236 million city dwellers, supporting a booming housing market, a rising retail sector, and global commodity markets.
World Bank and United Nations (UN) forecast 70 per cent of the population will be living in cities and towns by 2030. However, the 2020 census shows that both the government and the UN had been underestimating the rate of urbanisation,” said a recent report from Gavekal Dragonomics analyst Roselea Yao. Mega-cities such as Beijing and Shanghai in the past few years have made plans to cap the size of their populations in the future due to a shortage of public resources.