Facts on China’s demographics and development

China Monthly Fact
September 27, 2021

As the Chinese government plans to raise taxes on high-income individuals and foster redistribution, we would like to dedicate this monthly post to the demographics and economic development of the country.

Currently (2020), the population of China is estimated to reach 1.4 billion according to the World Bank. This is slightly more than double the population China had in 1960. Furthermore, China’s middle class rose particularly fast after the year 2000, representing today more than half of the population. This evolution was followed along by a significant migration towards the cities. Today commonly referred as first tier cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are joined for example by non-coastal cities as Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Wuhan.

The whole evolution was simultaneous with large investments in infrastructure and logistics, which are currently still taking place to connect and increase mobility between the different parts of the country. The example “par excellence” often referred to is the construction of a high-speed rail network of more than 35’000 km throughout the country.

Macro-economically, China has seen a trend showing an increase in the importance of services contributing in 2020 for almost 55% of GDP whereas the industrial sector accounted for a little more than 35% of GDP. China follows currently, in the context of the 14th Five Year Plan (2021-2025) and the country’s long-range goals through 2035, the strategy to become technologically independent, focusing its efforts on innovation as well as new technologies for its further development.

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