In twenty years, China will have 221 cities of over 1 million people

Illustration for article titled In twenty years, China will have 221 cities of over 1 million people

China and India are two of the most rapidly urbanizing areas of the world. In a fantastically interesting article over at Foreign Policy, Richard Hobbs breaks down the numbers on how big cities will be in both countries by 2030.

Hobbs writes:

In just two decades, China will have a whopping 44 urban areas boasting populations larger than 4 million. India will have 11 such cities. Who will live there? In China, the answer is simple: migrants from rural areas. Growth in India's cities, by contrast, will mainly be organic. The country's population is also much younger than China's. A mere 16 percent of India's population will be over 55 in 20 years, while 28 percent of China's will be . . . It's the stuff of dreams for developers and construction companies. If current trends hold, China will need 40 billion square meters of combined residential and commercial floor space over the next 20 years — equivalent to adding one New York every two years. India, on the other hand, needs to start building between 700 million and 900 million square meters of combined residential and commercial space each year — equivalent to adding more than two Mumbais or one Chicago each year . . . Urban growth will come with a high price tag — a whopping $35-$40 trillion in China and $2.2 trillion in India over the coming two decades.

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Illustration for article titled In twenty years, China will have 221 cities of over 1 million people

Find out more about the energy that these cities will consume, the jobs they'll create, and what it will be like to like in them, via Foreign Policy.

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DISCUSSION

elsaborasiatico
Korea Miéville

My takeaway from this article: China is going to be THE dominant market for the service/tech/energy industries for the foreseeable future. We'd better all start learning Cantonese and Mandarin now, because in 20 years I fully expect to be working in some call center doing customer support for Chinese cell phone users.

Isn't Ricky Gervais developing a Chinese version of The Office? Smart move. Expect more of the entertainment industry to start catering to the Chinese market. Why bother trying to appease a few lousy million Americans with disposable income when there's a potential market of hundreds of millions of consumers for basically the same product?