The Pearl River Delta in China – which includes the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan – has overtaken Tokyo as the world’s largest urban area in both size and population, with more inhabitants than countries such as Argentina, Australia or Canada.
This is a very detailed report with lots of good tables, figures and maps. It could easily be a textbook in a course on urbanization. But, wait, there's more! You can download the data yourself and do your own analyses:
To encourage further research on urbanization, the World Bank is announcing a two-track competition based on this report. One offers a $1,500 prize for the best visualization of the data, while the other seeks proposals for papers further analyzing the information, with winners invited to World Bank headquarters to present their findings.The report does not dwell on the quality of life in cities, although mention is made of air pollution. Yet, the deteriorating quality of China's cities seems to be one factor in a story from OZY suggesting that China's millionaires are trying to go elsewhere,
There is a growing trend among China’s richest to use their wealth to move themselves and their families abroad. This is done primarily in the form of investment visas.
On the flip side, a number of countries are opening the doors to the estimated 1 million Chinese millionaires … provided they bring their money with them. It’s something of a bidding war in reverse, for which Australia wins the prize. All it takes is AU$5 million (US$4.65 million) of investment to apply for permanent residency. [Note, by the way, that Australian Aid paid for the World Bank study...]
The U.S., for example, will take just $1 million for a green card, offering residence. That’s for an investment that generates 10 jobs for at least two years, although under the so-called EB-5 program, investment in a public development project can be a less-risky substitute. This figure halves if the investment is in a rural area or in an industry suffering from high employment.So, from the World Bank study we learn (not surprisingly) that the rich in East Asia (as elsewhere in the world) live in the cities. And from the OZY report, we learn that one motivation to get rich in China is to have enough money to move out of China's cities into another country.