China’s Permanent Urban Population Rises to 830 Million amidst Reform of Household Registrations


The latest official data points to a sharp rise in China’s permanent urban population amidst far-reaching reforms of the country’s long-standing household registration system.

China’s permanent urban population rose from 170 million to 830 million during the three decade period from 1978 to 2018, according to figures contained by the “Second Report on Economic and Social Development Accomplishments in the 70th Year of the Establishment of a New China” (新中国成立70周年经济社会发展成就系列报告之二) released by the National Bureau of Statistics on 8 July.

The urbanisation rate increased from 17.92% to 59.58% across the same period for a 41.66 percentage point increase, while the number of cities in China increased from 193 to 672 and the number of established towns (建制镇) increased from 2176 to 21,297.

The report points out that urbanisation has accelerated following comprehensive reform of the household registration system in the wake of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012.

During the period from 2012 to 2018 the urbanisation rate for the household registered population increased from 35.33% to 43.37%, narrowing the gap with the permanent urbanised population rate from 17.24 percentage points to 16.21 percentage points.