Degree of urbanization in ChinaUrbanization is generally defined as a process of people migrating from rural to urban areas, during which towns and cities are formed and increase in size. Even though urbanization is not exclusively a modern phenomenon, industrialization and modernization did accelerate its progress. As shown in the statistic at hand, the degree of urbanization of China, the world's second-largest economy, rose from 36 percent in 2000 to around 51 percent in 2011. That year, the urban population surpassed the number of rural residents for the first time in the country's history.
The urbanization rate varies greatly in different parts of China. While urbanization is lesser advanced in western or central China, in most coastal regions in eastern China more than two-thirds of the population lives already in cities. Among the ten largest Chinese cities in 2021, six were located in coastal regions in East and South China.