beijing metro subway

Beijing to Limit City Population to 23 Million by 2020

This year's quota: keep it under 21.8 million

Ambitious plans to combine Beijing, Tianjin, and parts of Hebei will create a northern Chinese megacity of some 130 million people. But even before the RMB 42 trillion project is finished, organizers have a problem: there are already too many people in Beijing.

Mayor of Beijing Wang Anshu said aggressive action will be taken to ensure Beijing will keep its population under 21.8 million residents this year to avoid “big city disease”.

Beijing’s fast growing population is putting pressure on the city’s resources and environment, causing water shortages, air pollution, and traffic congestion.

Beijing had 21.5 million permanent residents last year, but leaders don’t want to let that number grow beyond 23 million by 2020. Not only that, the plans also call for the capital’s urban population to be 15 percent lower than levels recorded in 2014.

Wang revealed the first step in a number of “innovative measures” to ensure this policy comes to fruition. “The municipal government and all the districts and counties of Beijing have signed the letter of responsibility to fulfill the goal,” said Wang.

Earlier rumors that the government would force residents to relocate had been so persistent in the Chinese community that an official statement was released denying any such move. But talks of relocation persist, such as the Beijing municipal government mulling over a plan to move its offices outside Beijing jurisdiction. Meanwhile, speculation in real estate markets in neighboring Tianjin and Hebei Province has caused some prices to rise.


Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor