More Chinese Living In Cities Than Countryside

By Salon Staff

Published January 17, 2012 11:18AM (EST)

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing says more Chinese are living in cities than in the countryside for the first time in the nation's history.

The National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday that urban dwellers accounted for 51.27 percent of China's 1.34 billion people at the end of last year. That was an increase of 1.32 percentage points over 2010.

The total figure includes 252.78 million migrant workers, although it wasn't clear how those were classified. China requires all citizens to be registered as either urban or rural, but the distinction has blurred as residency restrictions are loosened to keep up with migration trends.

Some Chinese regions have urged rural Chinese to move to cities in return for giving up their claim on farmland, but the offer has not been widely embraced.

Salon Staff

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