In an ARC China newsletter, Adam Roseman explained that China’s more rustic population has extended beyond its traditional areas for the first time.
He wrote: “China’s urban population surpassed that of rural areas for the first time in the country’s history after three decades of economic development encouraged farmers to seek better living standards in towns and cities.
“The world’s most populous nation had 690.79 million people living in urban areas at the end of 2011, compared with 656.56 million in the countryside, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That puts the number of people residing in China’s towns and cities at double the total US population.
“China’s urbanization has accelerated since Deng Xiaoping introduced capitalist reforms in the late 1970s, lifting more than 200 million people out of poverty and transforming the nation into the world’s second largest economy and its biggest consumer of steel, copper and coal. That migration may have decades more to run, diluting an agrarian economy that was once the ruling Communist Party’s power house,” Roseman explained.