In many areas of Asia there is rural-to-urban migration. China has seen rapid urbanisation as an increasing proportion of people live in urban areas. Over the last 20 years, the percentage of people who live in cities has increased from 20 per cent to nearly 50 per cent. The reasons for rural to urban migration are:

  • people are moving into cities to find work
  • farming systems in rural areas changed to allow people to leave the group cooperative
  • newly industrialised areas needed workers
  • there was the belief that the standard of living is better in cities

In some areas, such as Shanghai, the birth rate is below replacement level. Therefore, the city's population would be shrinking. However, because of migration, the size of the city is increasing rapidly.

Traffic and skyscrapers in Shanghai

Traffic and skyscrapers in Shanghai

Busy roads full of traffic against a backdrop of skyscrapers in Shanghai.

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