32 County-level Cities in China Have GDP’s in Excess of USD$15 Billion


A new report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) points to the rising affluence of regional urban centres.

The “China County Economy Development Report (中国县域经济发展报告) released by CASS on 1 December indicates that the number of county-level cities with GDP’s in excess of 100 billion yuan (approx. USD$15.25 billion) had risen to 32 in 2019.

A county-level city in China is an administrative jurisdiction that merges a city with a surrounding county, and as such often contain rural areas many times the size of the urban centres at their core. As of June 2020 China was host to 391 county-level cities, most of which were first created in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Zhejiang province had the largest number of county-level cities which made the CASS Report’s list of the “top 100 counties” with 24 in total, for an increase of 3 compared to 2019.

Jiangsu came in second with 23 – the same as the year previously, while Shandong saw its entries on the list fall from 18 to 10. Henan and Fujian were both host to 7 of the top 100 counties.

According to the CASS Report the ten most economically competitive county-level cities in China for 2020 are Kunshan, Jiangyin, Zhangjiagou, Changshu, Jinjiang, Taicang, Yiwu, Yixing, Cixi and Changsha.