OECD Rural Policy Reviews: China 2009

image of OECD Rural Policy Reviews: China 2009

With more than 700 million residents living in rural areas, China is still a predominantly rural country. But despite substantial improvements in standards of living, the Chinese countryside is largely lagging behind. This report analyses the key socio-economic forces at work in China's rural areas and discusses the current government strategy for rural development. It argues that in order to bridge rural-urban divides the current policy approach needs to go further in recognising rural-urban complementarities beyond agriculture and that food-security targets need to be balanced with wider rural development objectives.



Assessment and Recommendations

According to the census-based definition, the rural population of the People's Republic of China (hereafter: China) was 737 million in 2006, accounting for 56% of the national total. China is thus still a predominantly rural country with the second largest rural population in the world, after India. The rural population is unevenly distributed across China’s territory: half of it is concentrated in eight provinces. In contrast, the three largest provinces in terms of area, namely Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia, represent more than 40% of the national territory, but their rural population accounts for less than 4% of the total. Rural population density is highest in coastal Shandong, Tianjin, Jiangsu and in centrally located Anhui and Henan where it exceeds or is close to 300 persons per km2 and lowest in Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang, all located in the west, where it is below ten persons per km2. Low density in the largest provinces results in a relatively low average density of rural population in China at around 75 persons per km2.

English French, Chinese

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error