Wuhan, Dongguan and Hangzhou have become megacities, and Hefei and Suzhou have become megacities.

List of megacities "new"

Reporter Xu Peiyu

There's a new twist on the list of megacities! According to the "2022 Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook" released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development a few days ago, the number of megacities has increased by 3 and the number of megacities has increased by 2. Among them, the total population of Dongguan urban area reached 1082,44,1080, the total population of Wuhan urban area reached 64,1002,1, and the total urban population of Hangzhou reached 1000,650,4, stepping up the ladder of 500 million people, ranking among the ranks of megacities; Hefei urban area reached 08,500,<>,<>, and Suzhou reached <>,<>,<>,<>, crossing the threshold of <> million people, becoming a megacity.

What does urban demographic change represent? Why are the populations of these cities growing? Please see the report of our reporter.

5 Cities Upgraded

-- There are 500 cities with an urban population of more than 19 million in China, and the total number of cities in the Yangtze River Delta exceeds that of the Pearl River Delta

According to the 2022 Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook (hereinafter referred to as the "Yearbook"), a total of 2022 cities were upgraded in 5, namely Wuhan, Dongguan, Hangzhou, Hefei and Suzhou, bringing the total number of cities with a total urban population of more than 500 million to 19.

From a regional point of view, three of the five cities that have achieved "upgrading" are in the Yangtze River Delta region. So far, the number of megacities in the Yangtze River Delta region has reached 5, namely 3 megacities in Shanghai and Hangzhou, and 5 megacities in Nanjing, Hefei and Suzhou, accounting for 2/3 of the total number of megacities in the country.

The Pearl River Delta region, which is more densely populated, still has an advantage in the number of megacities, with three megacities with a population of more than 3 million, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dongguan.

The expansion of urban populations is mainly due to population mobility. In addition, zoning adjustment is also an important factor in the change of urban population data. There is a reason why Suzhou is a megacity. Due to the management of four county-level cities, Suzhou's urban permanent population has not exceeded 4 million in the past. Recently, Suzhou Industrial Park has adjusted the urban-rural division code to include its population in the urban population of Suzhou, helping the permanent population of Suzhou urban area to exceed 500 million and become a megacity.

Which other cities are expected to make this list in the future?

According to the results of the seventh population census, in terms of megacities, Xi'an (928.300 million) is the most likely to become a megacity in the future. In terms of megacities, Nanning, Xiamen, Taiyuan, Guiyang, Urumqi, Ningbo, Wuxi, Fuzhou, Changchun, Nanchang and Changzhou are expected to be promoted to megacities with populations between 500 million and <> million.

The change of a city's population data is a comprehensive reflection of the city's economic scale and industrial development. Zhang Jianping, director of the Regional Economic Research Center of the Ministry of Commerce Research Institute, told this reporter: "Taking the Yangtze River Delta as an example, the Yangtze River Delta is currently a region with a high level of domestic economic development, a good degree of integration, and a leading position in terms of market-oriented mechanism and internationalization. In particular, Hangzhou, Suzhou and other cities have continued to burst out of economic development vitality in recent years. "The relevant report of the China Center for Reform and Development of Cities and Small Towns pointed out that since the beginning of this year, the economic growth momentum of megacities has been strong. In the first half of the year, 97% of the city's GDP increased year-on-year, and there were 5000 cities with a GDP of more than 24 billion yuan. Among them, the average GDP growth rate of megacities is the highest, at 7.2%.

Why do these cities keep people?

-- The threshold for settlement has been lowered, industrial agglomeration has increased employment opportunities, and public infrastructure has continued to improve

The cities that have achieved the "upgrade" this time are all "star cities" with a large influx of population in recent years.

Taking Hangzhou as an example, since 2020, the annual net inflow of population in Hangzhou has exceeded 350.2022 million people, and has maintained a steady growth trend. In <>, Hangzhou's net population inflow ranked first in the Yangtze River Delta and second in the country.

Why do these cities attract and retain people?

Policy encouragement to lower the threshold for settlement——

In March this year, Hangzhou issued a new round of reform policies for the household registration system, which further relaxed the threshold for settlement, and those who have a college diploma or above and are under the age of 3 and pay social security can settle down. In addition to the urban area of Hangzhou, other cities in Zhejiang will also fully cancel the settlement restriction policy. Jiangsu has experimented with a household registration system based on the place of habitual residence to ensure that the standards for the settlement of rural migrants from other places and local areas are unified. In addition, the four cities of Wuhan, Dongguan, Hefei and Suzhou have also relaxed their residency restrictions in recent years to attract talent inflow.

The expansion of economic aggregate and the acceleration of industrial agglomeration have created more employment opportunities.

Over the years, Wuhan's economic aggregate has ranked among the top 170 cities in the country and the first in central China, with a total of more than 500.309 million market entities, and 5 of the world's top 4 enterprises have invested and set up institutions in Wuhan, forming 160 national industrial bases and 9000 national strategic emerging industrial clusters, attracting a large number of "new citizens". Private enterprises are the main force of Dongguan's economic development, up to now, Dongguan's private economic market entities exceed 9.20 million, ranking first in the province's prefecture-level cities, more than 12,1 high-tech enterprises have become private enterprises. Hangzhou has seized the opportunity to develop its digital economy and platform economy with rapid development, and has empowered the city with digitalization. Hefei's "Quantum Avenue" is home to more than 3 upstream and downstream related enterprises in the quantum field, and Hefei's patents related to the quantum information industry account for 1.15% of the country, ranking second in the country. Suzhou's three industrial clusters of nano new materials, biomedicine, high-end medical devices, and high-end textiles have been selected into the list of national advanced manufacturing clusters, accounting for about <>/<> of the country. Thanks to the dynamic market atmosphere and employment environment, these cities are highly attractive to talents.

Improvement of urban infrastructure –

In recent years, many high-level events have been held in cities in the Yangtze River Delta. For example, the successful Asian Games held this year have played an important role in building Hangzhou's reputation and brand, and have also led to the improvement of the city's public infrastructure. After several years of construction, the total mileage of Hangzhou Expressway has exceeded 480 kilometers, 114 subway reconstruction roads have been completed and opened, and 6 substations have been put into operation. The improvement and upgrading of urban infrastructure has also attracted more people.

What are the benefits of increasing the energy level of the city?

-- Enjoy more policy dividends, improve the allocation of public resources, and promote regional economic development

It can be seen in the planning of many cities that from large cities to megacities to megacities, population absorption has become one of the development goals of many cities. What are the benefits of improving the energy level of the city?

Feng Wenmeng, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that becoming a megacity, urban population agglomeration will bring scale effects, public services will be allocated more efficiently, and residents will live more comfortably, the environment will be more livable, and their lives will be more secure. In addition, cities can aggregate more innovation elements, trigger a new round of innovation, and form a spiral effect, promoting the continuous emergence of new models and industrial upgrading.

Megacities are an important threshold for urban development. Entering this ranks also means that you can enjoy more policy dividends.

Taking the ongoing transformation of urban villages as an example, the "Guiding Opinions on Actively and Steadily Promoting the Transformation of Urban Villages in Super Mega Cities" issued in July this year pointed out that actively and steadily implementing the transformation of urban villages in super and mega cities is an important measure to improve people's livelihood, expand domestic demand, and promote high-quality urban development. Becoming a megacity means that it has received policy support in the transformation of urban villages.

Experts believe that, generally speaking, the allocation of public resources basically matches the size of the permanent population. After the energy level of the city is improved, the allocation of public resources such as medical care, education, and transportation infrastructure construction will often be improved accordingly. For example, Changzhou, which has achieved urban energy level improvement in recent years, already has a number of subways.

Whether it is a super-large city or not is also related to the construction qualification of the metropolitan area. According to the Guiding Opinions on Cultivating and Developing Modern Metropolitan Areas issued by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2019, a metropolitan area is an urbanization spatial form within an urban agglomeration centered on a super-large city or a large city with strong radiation-driven functions, with a one-hour commuting circle as the basic scope.

Zhang Jianping said that the population agglomeration and industrial agglomeration functions of super megacities are strong, and they have a strong radiation driving effect on the entire region. The three megacities in the Pearl River Delta include two first-tier cities, and the policy dividends brought by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area strategy have given birth to a number of leading enterprises in the industry, which have continuously increased the attractiveness of talents and capital, and continuously enhanced the ability to allocate resources, which in turn has further driven regional economic development.

These factors contribute to the economic and social development of cities, and more and more cities are aware of the importance of increasing the size of their populations. However, there are challenges to becoming a megacity. Feng Wenmeng said that with the increase of urban population, attention should be paid to avoiding the emergence of big city diseases, to prevent the price of resource factors from soaring, especially for the needs of new citizens in housing, medical treatment, children's education, etc., the city should do a good job of planning and docking. (People's Daily Overseas Edition)