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Guangdong Is Most Urbanized Province, Says Report

Guangdong is China's most urbanized province, with its urbanization rate climbing up to 60.68 percent by 2005, says a report from its construction department.

"It (Guangdong's urbanization rate) is also 17.69 percentage points higher than the country's average," the 2006 Appraisal Report on Guangdong's Urbanization Development says.

The report is issued every two years by the Guangdong construction department, which conducts an urbanization appraisal of the province's 21 cities and the four regions of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), eastern and western Guangdong and the mountainous north.

The appraisal is based on up to 30 criteria divided into six categories, including a city's or town's centralized development level, living and services standards, environmental construction quality, harmonious development capability and key elements' mobility.

"Urban population in PRD region rose most to 77.32 percent in 2005, reaching the level of a medium developed country," says the report.

Leading Guangdong's urbanization process, the PRD region's per capita GDP reached 40,123 yuan (US$5,144) in 2005, which was 15,136 yuan and 26,179 yuan higher than the province's and country's average, respectively.

Its rate of output for non-agriculture construction land reached 219.53 million yuan (US$29 million) per square km, 1.72 times and 4.38 times more that the province's and country's average, respectively.

The Guangdong government set up a goal early this year of taking the PRD region's urbanization rate to about 80 percent by 2010 against about 65 percent for the province's average. "By 2020 PRD's urbanization rate will exceed 85 percent, while the province's average will cross 75 percent," a government official said.

The report shows Guangdong's urban population as a whole grew 5.68 percentage points from 2000 to 60.68 percent in 2005. "With the stimulation of industrialization a large number of people from the countryside and other provinces flowed into Guangdong's cities and towns," the report says.

"For instance, about 13 million of the province's rural population moved into its cities and towns in 2005."

The report indicates more and more economic resources are flowing into key cities and towns, a trend that is becoming increasingly apparent.

Urban population, per capita GDP and output rate of non-agriculture construction land of the key cities such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou are much higher than the province's and the country's average.

Shenzhen, according to the report, is the most urbanized city in Guangdong with an urbanization rate of 96 percent. It's followed by Guangzhou (79 percent) and Zhuhai (77 percent).

(China Daily May 12, 2007)

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