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Nanjing Road, Shanghai 南京路


In the late 1800s and early 1900s when Nanjing Road was turning into a major shopping district, the population of Shanghai was one million. By 1935 it had grown to 3 million of whom 35,000 were foreigners. In 1950, at the beginning of the PRC the population was 5.3 million and in 1992 had reached 14.1 million.

Population policies put in place in China in the 1980s were very successful at decreasing the rate of population growth among the resident population of Shanghai. Most of the growth since the 1980s has been fueled by migration from the countryside.

Shanghai has an estimated unemployment rate of 4.5 to 5%. That is a rather meaningless statistic because it depends upon the worker seeking employment through an official agency. The real number is probably fairly low, even with the increased numbers of migrants, since the growth of Shanghai has matched or exceeded its population growth. The building trades have absorbed a huge number of unskilled laborers. Unemployment will become a major problem if alternative jobs have not been created by the time building slows.

(These figures were collected from various sources and may vary on their basis. For instance, the 1992 figure is from a UN publication and probably includes non-permanent residents.)









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Last update: February 2007
© Marilyn Shea 1996, 1999, 2002, 2007