The country of the big numbers
A while ago, I moved to the homeland of the great wall, the panda and the hoverboard, that is to say; China. It is with great admiration and respect that I have settled in this ancient country which population represents a fifth of the world population and which economy is the second largest in the world. Just by reading these figures, you get an understanding that this is a country with big numbers.
With a population of approximately 24 million, my city of residency, Shanghai, is ranked as one of the world´s largest cities. The city has, like most other major Chinese cities, enjoyed a steady growth because of the ongoing urbanization. During the past 30 years, 300 million people have moved into the cities, and another 350 million are estimated to leave the rural areas and move into the cities in the upcoming years.
Something that tends to reach ever higher levels as cities grow is the air pollution levels. With increasing urbanization, water and electricity consumption per capita rises, which in turn means that more electricity from China´s coal plants is needed. This combined with the fact that more and more people can afford to buy their own car leads to increased problems with air pollution in the big cities.
However, urbanization also has positive consequences. Because of higher paying jobs in the urban areas, more and more people are lifted into the economic middle class. This allows for higher consumption of products and services, which in turn results in improved business prospects for both national and international companies.
In summary, it can be concluded that China is a country with large numbers on several different levels, and where the trend indicates that future figures will be even higher.