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Meet China’s 113 Cities With More Than One Million People

In 2010, China’s urban-dwelling population surpassed its rural population, marking a monumental demographic milestone in the country’s history.


Just three decades prior, China looked markedly different. Only 20% of Chinese citizens lived in urban areas, and many of today’s metropolises were still small villages.


Since then, huge swaths of the population have moved from farmland into cities, a shift that is still causing many urban areas to swell in size. Case in point is the growth of Guangzhou, which lays just north of Hong Kong. From 1980 to today, more than 18 million people moved into the city. A 40-year-old born in Guangzhou will have seen their small, regional city mushroom into one of the largest urban amalgamations on Earth.


Of course, this is just one example of a process that has been altering the landscape of cities from the coast of the South China Sea out to the Eurasian Steppe.


The One Million+ Club

According to Demographia’s World Urban Areas report, there are now 113 urban areas in China that surpass the one million population threshold. In comparison, North America and the EU combined have 114 urban areas that surpass one million people.


Below is a full breakdown of China’s one million+ club:

Meet China’s 113 Cities With More Than One Million People

Unparalleled Urbanization

The massive scale of rural-to-urban migration isn’t just a major development within China, it has no parallel in modern history.

Since 1980, over half a billion people have moved from the countryside to an urban center. The construction of these new cities took a staggering amount of raw materials. Few data points highlight the scale of construction better than China’s cement production in recent years.

china cement production

In 2018, Chinese construction used about 8x the amount of second place India, which has a similar population size.

Megacities on Megacities

Cities with over 10 million inhabitants are defined as megacities. China is already home to six megacities, with another three urban areas well on the way to achieving that status.

In fact, some megacities within close proximity have grown so large that they are merging into contiguous urban areas. The most prominent example of this phenomenon is in the Pearl River Delta region of China.

The Pearl River Delta region is not only home to the megacities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, but also a number of other sizable cities that are quickly merging into a unified continuous entity containing up to 50 million people. Demographia still considers most of these cities to be separate labor markets ⁠— but as more connections form across the region, the Pearl River Delta could be poised to become the largest unified urban area in human history.

Westward Migration

As megacities like Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown and developed, they’ve also become more expensive places to live and do business. The economic evolution of these cities has created opportunity for smaller, less developed cities to woo both residents and businesses.

This natural reshuffling has led to impressive growth in cities further inland like Zhengzhou, which sits 350 miles (630 kms) east of the coastline where many of the country’s largest cities reside.

Using the “build it and they will come” approach, the city converted a 160 square mile (410 sq km) patch of empty land into the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ). The project has proven wildly successful, and the city even has the nickname “Apple City” thanks to the presence of Foxconn (which produces the iPhone) and a cluster of other smartphone manufacturers.

This airport-centered zone was developed with the full political and economic backing of Beijing as part of a broader effort to increase economic activity in China’s interior cities. Zhengzhou has nearly tripled in size over the last decade, a powerful testament to the shift in economic momentum.

China’s Inland All-Stars:

Urban AreaPopulation 2010Population 2019Change (2010-19)
Chengdu4.8M12.1M+152%
Xi'an4.0M7.1M+77%
Wuhan5.2M8.5M+63%
Chongqing5.4M8.3M+53%

Compare the numbers above to fast-growing cities in the U.S., such as Las Vegas or Phoenix, which managed 33% and 12% growth respectively over the last decade.

If this trend continues, China’s one million+ club will most likely expand once fresh census data is released in 2021.

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/


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加拿大“视觉资本”网站2月7日文章,原题:看看人口超过百万的中国城市  就在30年前,还只有20%的中国人生活在城市,如今的很多大都市彼时还规模很小。从那时起,大量人口已从农村迁到城市,这种转变仍在使很多城市地区规模不断膨胀。


广州的发展壮大就是个很好的例子。从1980年到现在,超过1800万人口迁入广州。当地人目睹了自己的家乡快速崛起为全球最大的城市群之一。这只是中国城市化进程中的一个例子。根据美国城市规划咨询机构Demographia发布的《世界城市地区报告》,中国现在有113个城市人口越过100万的门槛。相比之下,北美和欧盟一共才有114个。


细看一下中国的大城市俱乐部:上海是中国最大、全球第七大城市;广州和佛山发展速度飞快,已融合成为一个城市地区;北京的地理面积与底特律相当,但人口几乎比后者多29倍;深圳人口1990年时与内布拉斯加州的奥马哈相当,而如今成为中国的科技中心,人口规模在全球排第25;成都的人口在2010年到2019年间增长152%;重庆人口2010年到2019年间增长53%;郑州的规模在过去30年里几乎增长2倍。中国有6个城市地区超过伦敦的规模。华盛顿是美国第4大城市地区,在中国只能排到第9。加拿大只有6个城市地区的人口超过100万。



从农村到城市的大规模人口转移,不仅是中国的重大发展,在人类现代历史上也是规模空前的。中国建设这些新城市消耗掉了惊人数量的原材料。比如,2018年中国建设用掉的水泥约是第二名印度的8倍,而两国人口规模相近。


中国已有6个特大城市(人口超1000万),还有2个城市群正接近取得这种地位。实际上,地理位置接近的一些大城市已变得如此庞大,正融合成毗连市区。这种现象最突出的例子是珠三角,有望成为全球最大的统一城市地区。


上海、深圳等特大城市的经济发展,已为中国较小的欠发达城市创造出机遇。这造就了郑州、西安、武汉、重庆等内陆城市惊人的经济和人口增长。西安的 “筑巢引凤”政策已取得巨大成功。这是在北京全面支持下发展起来的,是为增强中国内陆城市经济活动做出的广泛努力的一部分。过去十年来,郑州规模几乎增长两倍,这是中国经济动力转变的强有力证明。(作者尼克·劳特利,陈一译)

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