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China's Urbanization Rate to Grow to 60 percent in 20 Years

Xinhua, 21 May 2001

BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua)-- China's urbanization rate will increase to 60 percent within the next 20 years, according to a recent analysis based on China's potential economic and population growth.

Urbanization is considered a major indicator of modernization. However, China's urbanization rate now stands at merely 31 percent, 15 percentage points lower than the world's average level.

According to the World Development Indices issued by the World Bank, a country's urbanization level is interrelated with its per capita GDP.

A calculation based on China's annual GDP increase of 7.2 percent and annual population growth of 8 per thousand shows that China's per capita GDP, which stood at 850 U.S. dollars in 2000, will reach 2,800 U.S. dollars by year 2020.

That means an annual urbanization increase rate of 1.5 percentage points and an urbanization rate of 60 percent in two decades.

An official with the Development Research Center of the State Council pointed out that it is a long-term and arduous task for China to increase its urbanization level. He suggested that while increasing the number of cities, China should do more to upgrade the functions of cities, especially the big ones.