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.



Profile of Rural China

Despite rapid urbanisation, China is still a predominantly rural country. Its rural population is the second largest in the world at 737 million in 2006, accounting for 56% of the national total. The rural population is unevenly distributed across the territory with the highest density exceeding 300 persons per km2 in several coastal and central provinces and the lowest at below 10 persons per km2 in western provinces.


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