The current number of residences in Beijing has reached nearly 20 million, and experts concern that the city is on the verge of an over-population crisis, citing a report of Beijing News Monday.
By the end of 2009, the number of permanent residents in the metropolis had reached 19.7 million, among which 12.4 million possessed the registered residence (hu kou); while the remaining 7.2 million did not obtain the hu kou for the fact that they were living in the city for a little over half a year. Besides, the rate of family migration from other cities to Beijing is increasing every year, the newspaper reported Monday.
When talking about the reasons for the city’s overpopulation, Xia Xueluan, a sociology professor from Peking University told the Global Times that the main reason was the migration of the population from other cities.
“People are attracted to Beijing because of its rapid economic development. So, migration directly leads to overpopulation,” Xia said. Xia further added that another reason was the government’s lack of control on population in-flow.
“Substantial real estate development boosted in the year of 2000, which attracted many newcomers to buy houses in Beijing and move to the city. But the government just paid attention to economic growth instead of controlling the growth of population at the time, which led to the problem of today,” said Xia.
Overpopulation also causes shortage of water and energy in the city. Beijing has been a city that suffers from severe water shortage for 11 years, according to experts.
Jiang Yue, a citizen from Tongzhou District in Beijing, told the Global Times that there is less and less water coming out of the tap every night between 6 pm and 10 pm in his apartment, which causes him to hardly use water in the evenings.
Xia suggested that the government should encourage talented people to go to regions around Beijing, like Tianjin municipality or Tangshan in Hebei Province, to relieve the pressure of Beijing and balance the development of other cities as well.
By Zheng Yi