80 Chinese Cities Are Losing Population, But Most Still Expanding

More than 10 percent of China's larger cities are declining in population, but real estate development continues unabated. One study with larger set of cities finds more than a quarter are losing population, concentrated in the Yangtze River economic zone and Northeast region.
iFeng: 80个城市正在缩小:有的人口在减少 面积在扩张
In fact, a data updated by Wu Kang, a scholar at the Capital University of Economics and Business, shows that from 2007 to 2016, a total of 80 cities in 694 cities experienced different degrees of contraction, accounting for 11.5%.
Cities of various sizes are shrinking:
Now, when it comes to Jinzhou, many people may first think of the "original" MC Tianyou of the live broadcast industry...

As a medium-sized city with a population of nearly 1 million (the urban resident population is 500,000 to 1 million), the urban population of Jinzhou has dropped from 943,700 in 2010 to 839,000 in 2016... More and more young people seem to be I don't want to go back to this industrial city that has been slightly degraded.

As one of the earliest cities in China to develop modern industries and the birthplace of national industry, the population size of Yingkou has been shrinking. The resident population of urban areas has dropped from 904,100 in 2010 to 770,600 in 2017, just 8 years. , a reduction of 133,500 people... Even as an emerging metallurgical petrochemical equipment manufacturing industrial base, Yingkou seems to be difficult to retain people who yearn for the "outside world."

...Second-tier big cities such as Anshan and Fushun are also in a state of sharp contraction. Taking Anshan as an example, the urban population has decreased by 165,500 in 8 years; even in Shenyang, the capital city, its population has contracted sharply in recent years. Compared with the urban population in 2013, the urban population in 2017 has decreased. 858,200 people...
Many smaller cities are shrinking as well:
Zhang Xueliang, executive director of the Yangtze River Delta and Yangtze River Economic Belt Development Research Institute of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, said that according to a long-term survey by its research team, 26.71% of the prefecture-level/sub-provincial administrative units in China contracted, and 29.89% of the contracted cities There is a phenomenon of population loss in the jurisdiction, which is concentrated in the northeastern China and the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

In the Yangtze River Economic Belt, 52 of the 110 prefecture-level and above cities contracted, accounting for 47.27% of the total city; 58 were in a non-shrinking state, accounting for 52.73%; 84 municipal districts contracted, about It accounted for 26.42% of the total area under the jurisdiction of the city; 393 city-administered counties contracted, accounting for 51.98% of the total number of municipal districts.
Many cities are ignoring population, both building more and increasing urban sprawl:
The population is falling but the area is expanding

The reporter also noted that while the permanent population of urban areas has declined for three consecutive years, the built-up area of ​​some cities has continued to grow. This means that there are fewer people, but there are relatively more facilities for urban construction, which in some cases lead to resource mismatches.

Among the cities, the most prominent are Kaiyuan City (Liaoning), Jilin City (Jilin), Tonghua City (Jilin), and Daqing City (Heilongjiang).

Among them, Jilin City and Daqing City have a permanent resident population of more than 1 million, belonging to the type II big city, and also the second largest city outside the provincial capital. The resident population of the urban area and the area of ​​the built-up area have fallen by one liter, showing the “struggling” of Jilin City and Daqing City as the second largest city in the region. Their population is outflowing, but they tend to expand and build. The problem is that such a development trend will result in a reduction in the efficiency of land resource allocation, which is not conducive to the compact development of the city.

In addition to “one drop and one liter”, some cities have shown non-compact development in recent years, that is, their urban resident population has not declined continuously, but its urban population density has continued to decline. That is to say, in the whole three years, the inflow rate of the urban resident population is not as fast as the expansion of the urban area.
Economists and officials alike say cities have to change their development strategy, yet at the same time push greater urbanization:
“The local population with strong economic vitality will certainly not decrease. If the city’s own competitiveness declines, there will be better urban populations around it. It is necessary to shrink the small and medium-sized cities to improve the city’s competitiveness, develop industries and attract employment. To create more livable conditions, public services should be better." He said that the competition between cities is getting more and more fierce. If you do not do well, the population will be lost.

Yao Yongling said that for resource-exhausted cities, it is necessary to develop follow-up industries other than resource-based industries. For small and medium-sized cities that shrink, they need the inclination of national policies and exert their efforts in infrastructure integration and equalization of public services. Develop the economy, create a good business environment and promote the development of enterprises, thereby attracting more people and developing into small and beautiful cities.

The reporter noted that the NDRC's documents also explicitly mentioned that it is necessary to deepen the supporting policies such as “the link between people and land”. We will deepen the implementation of the fiscal policy to support the urbanization of agricultural transfer population, and more consider the number of agricultural transfer populations when arranging central and provincial financial transfer payments. In 2019, we will continue to arrange central financial incentive funds to support more settled areas.

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