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The 25 Fastest Growing Cities of China: 1985 - 2010
Population Increase since 1985 (in million) Multiplication of Population since 1985

Source: Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Urbanization Prospects, the 2009 Revision New York, 2010,
Note: This list, according to UN practice, includes cities on Taiwan. Only cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in 1950 were used for the rankings.

Between 1985 and 2010 the coastal city of Shanghai had the biggest increase in population: 9.7 million. This increase was higher than the growth of Shenzhen (8.8 million) and Guangzhou (6.6 million) or Chongqing (6.5 million). Between 1985 and 2010, Beijing's population increased by 6.4 million.

In relative terms, as expected, smaller cities had some really spectacular increases in population. The most spectacular increase was calculated for Shenzhen, which was a small town in 1985 and increased its population more than 50-fold. Dongguan increased more than 22-fold and Foshan, Zhuhai and Puning increased their population about 15-fold between 1985 and 2010.
These numbers clearly indicate that China is in the middle of a massive urbanization process. As in any other developed country, China's population will be predominantly urban at the end of this transition period. The "romantic" idea of China as being a "peasant society" is rapidly fading away.

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This data section was updated on 18 December 2011

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012