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China needs an urbanization plan

In teaching a course on China’s Political Economy, I made an interesting chart showing China’s urbanization rate lags far behind the urban workforce: the gap between % of registered urban residents and % actual labor force working in urban area (mostly migrant workers) has been quite persistent over the years, averaging about 15%.

China urbanization gap

(click to enlarge; source: author’s own calculation and China’s Statistical Bureau)

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