SHANGHAI: China's permanent urban population reached 813.47 million by the end of 2017, up 20.49 million on the year and accounting for 58.52 per cent of the total population, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing government data.
The urbanisation rate was up 1.17 percentage points compared with the end of 2016, and 5.95 percentage points higher than 2012. A total of 101.65 million rural people have become permanent urban residents since 2012, Xinhua said on Sunday (Feb 5).
China has been expanding its cities rapidly and building new urbanised centres in rural regions in a bid to modernise its countryside and address wide income disparities. Urbanisation is also a key part of its strategy to boost domestic demand.
The urbanisation figure included approximately 100 million migrant workers living in China's cities.
Births in mainland China fell 3.5 per cent to 17.23 million last year, despite a 2016 move to relax China's "one-child policy" amid growing concerns about the country's rapidly ageing population.