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Process of China's Urbanization

  • Date Submitted: 04/22/2012 10:32 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.2 
  • Words: 617
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On the one hand, this certainly is a big step for China here. It’s the first time in history for China to have an urban population larger than in the countryside. How did this change come about?
Well, let’s look at few figures to put things into perspective. When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, a census conducted then showed that urban population made up around 10% of China’s total population. And 30 years later, in 1979, that’s when the country first introduced the "opening-up" and reform policy, the country’s urban population stood at about 19% of the total population. And now we can see how the economic reforms and the opportunities they brought have shaped the country’s demographics. Two decades on, in 2000, the percentage of urban dwellers rose to 36 percent. And that number jumped even faster over the next decade to reach today’s figure of 51%.
Urbanization is surely a sign of progress, but what are some new challenges that will come along with the development?
Well, according to Zheng Zhenzhen, an expert on Population and Labor Economics, the biggest challenge China now faces, in the process of urbanization, is providing jobs, welfare and other social services to city dwellers. He said the government’s top priority now should be looking after the lowest rungs(梯子的横档、梯级) of the urban population, such as migrant workers. Other experts are also concerned that rapid modernization and demand for improved living standards are piling extra pressure on society and the already blighted environment. The consensus is that urbanization is an irreversible process, so it certainly seems like the right time to start thinking about how to tackle these challenges.
A government-backed blue book unveiled Monday estimated that the country's urban population will outnumber the rural population by the end of 2011 at the current speed of urbanization.
According to China's latest nationwide census that wrapped up in 2010, China's urban population accounted...


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