It could be blamed on the rising cost of living, pollution, or growing affluence in the Chinese interior, but the Pearl River Delta – long known as one of China’s richest regions – has seen its first population decline in 30 years.
The People’s Daily says the statistics show a changing population structure in the country:
As Shenzhen Statistics Bureau data indicates, the city’s floating population dropped by 0.93 percent, or 73,200 people, last year. The number of residents in Guangzhou and Dongguan, also decreased, according to government figures.
The relocation of labor-intensive enterprises and the high living costs in China’s coastal centers were cited by experts as major causes of the demographic shift.
The PRD is currently in a seismic shift away from low-wage manufacturing to higher-end service industry jobs, which will no doubt have an impact on the legions of migrant workers who have been flooding the region since the early 1980s.