Guangdong has topped China’s list of most populous cities and provinces for the 13th year in a row after its permanent resident count rose 1.6 percent to 113.5 million, reports Yicai Global.
It was the only region in the country to increase its permanent population by over a million, according to data from provincial and municipal statistics bureaus across the country. Guangzhou and Shenzhen alone accounted for more than that.
Job opportunities, salary levels and living costs are the main factors affecting how many people choose to live in a certain area, said Su Jian, director of Peking University’s Center for Economic Research.
Think Guangzhou is big? Think again. The city government has released a draft urban masterplan that envisages building the provincial capital into an “international metropolis”, with a population of 20 million, by the end of the current GBA masterplan in 2035.
That would mean adding 5.1 million residents – presumably all “talents” – over the next 15 years. That is an average of 300,000 per year. It would be an easing of its current growth rate, though: Guangzhou added 566,367 residents last year. That was No. 2 in the country for population growth, behind Shenzhen.
To support this growth, the city plans to build two million new housing units, of which at least 8% will be social housing. How will all these people get to and from home and work? On a railway network that will be adding 2,000 km of tracks, four times its current length. Hi-speed lines will bring in visitors from cities further away, such as Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macau, while the Metro will be extended into neighboring cities as well. Moreover, a second airport is currently being planned in the area between Guangzhou and Dongguan.
Still think Hong Kong will be the GBA’s “dragon head”? Really?
Read more in Chinese.
Shenzhen and Guangzhou, for the second consecutive year, won China’s unofficial “talent grab” contest. (No, it’s not the Chinese version of American Idol.) The two cities, followed by Xi’an, recorded the highest population growth rate in 2018, demonstrating their attractiveness to the “socially mobile generation”, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Shenzhen added 498,300 people in 2018, bringing its total to 13.02 million. Guangzhou attracted 406,000, bringing its total to 14.9 million. The high growth rate also showed the two cities’ openness to welcome outsiders and their eagerness to attract young skilled workers, according to Chinese media.
Two other GBA cities, Foshan (8th) and Dongguan (21st), also made into the Top 30. Foshan added 249,000, bringing its total to 7.9 million. Dongguan, ranked 21st, brought in 49,700, bringing its total to 8.39 million.
Read more here (in Chinese)