China’s Urban Population Exceeds Rural for the First Time
Some Thoughts on China's Population Shift
It’s not often that a significant demographic milestone is hit in a large country, so I thought it was interesting to note that China has crossed the 50% threshold in terms of Urban Population. It is generally considered that once a nation crosses that threshold they have officially made the transition from an agrarian to an "industrialized" society.
Bloomberg reports, "China’s urban population surpassed that of rural areas for the first time in the country’s history after three decades of economic development encouraged farmers to seek better living standards in towns and cities."
I am not claiming to be an expert in terms of population shift and it’s effect on countries, but I did research when this happened in the US. The answer: 1920.
Does that mean China still has many "roaring" years ahead of them? If the 20th century was quintessentially an American one, is this milestone another harbinger that we are in the early years of a Chinese, or Asian-dominated century? What forms might such dominance take, or in what arenas (Science, Economics, Sports) might it be most evident?
One might also note that lately it seems that for every story about how China is taking over the world, another surfaces suggesting that they may have reached their peak for now.
The level where a nation’s Urban Population seems to level off, or max out, looks to be about 80%, which happens to be roughly where the U.S. now stands. Not everyone can live in a "city", right?
These figures suggest China has a lot of time ahead where they will still be experiencing pretty dramatic population shifts and growing further as an industrial nation. As investors, what trade-able trends should we be pouring money into, …even if it is a long trend and the trade ends up being for our grandchildren’s ultimate benefit?
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[Image: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg]
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