RFA carried a report on China’s growing urbanization and the social implications of the coutryside’s decline.
The report stated that, according to official statistics, in 2011, China had 691 million urban residents, which accounts for 51.27 percent of the total population. This was the first time that the urban population exceeded that of the countryside. The China Urban Development Report of 2012 predicted that, if urbanization grows one percent per year, the urban population will exceed 60 percent by 2020.
Many experts are concerned about the social implications of the growth in the urban population. Agricultural productivity has declined as more and more young and middle aged farmers have left the countryside. Other potential issues include: 1) when farm workers go to the city to work, their family members can’t go with them; 2) farmers do not have title to their land and can’t transfer or sell the land; 3) because of their residential status, farm workers do not have social security.
Source: Radio Free Asia, August 24, 2012