søndag 1. mai 2022

Rural Chinese Cycle Between Mechanization and Migration

Since the beginning of the reform period in the 1980s, millions of rural Chinese have left the countryside for opportunities in the city. According to the 2020 national census, China’s “floating population” — defined as people who have been away from their registered place of residence for more than six months — has risen to more than 375 million, or over one quarter of the total population. This mass migration has completely reversed China’s rural-urban population balance. At the time of the first national census in 1953, nearly 87% of the population was rural. By the end of 2020, the rural share of population had decreased to about 36%.

As a result of urbanization, the abandonment of rural fields, and the diversion of rural land for industrial purposes, the total area sown with rice in China decreased by nearly 13% between 1978 and 2020; the total area sown with wheat declined by almost 20% over the same period.