Shanghai officially just got a bit more crowded
If Shanghai feels a bit more crowded these days, it might be because there are 3 million more people in the city than in 2005 when China did its last head count -- meaning an average growth of 660,000 people a year in Shanghai.
The 10-day national Chinese census kicked off on November 1, 2010. This is the first year the survey has actively sought after cities’ unregistered migrant communities and counted foreigners who are long-term residents.
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The national event employed 6 million people going door to door to record China's population details. That's almost three times the size of the People’s Liberation Army and larger than the population of many countries, to document China’s true head count.
Of the 23 million people counted in Shanghai, 9 million were migrant workers and their families, said population expert and director of East China Normal University's School of Social Development Ding Jinhong to Shanghai Daily.
About 140 million migrant workers in China work outside of their hometowns, according to a 2009 National Bureau of Statistics report. Many believe the number could be as high as 200 million. Most of these people remain unregistered in their new locations.
The 2010 national census tried to bring these communities back into the fold.
With the influx of people -- migrant and long-term resident -- to urban centers like Shanghai, some worry that major Chinese cities will soon, if they haven’t already, exceeded their ability for healthy development.
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With almost 40 percent of Shanghai’s population made up of migrant workers, the city government will have to re-prioritize issues making those policies related to migrant workers a key issue.
Migrant worker’s children lacking local residency were only allowed into the city’s schools last year.
"Shanghai is facing a continually growing population," Ding said to state media. "Such a big population brings big challenges to housing, transport, health, education and other public service sectors."