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population number games

There are three resident statuses in Shenzhen: Shenzhen hukou, long term residence permit (常住证), and illegal residents or the floating population (流动人口). In turn, these different statuses are reflected in two kinds of population statistics: the long term population (常住人口) and the administrative population (管理人口).  The long term population is divided into those residents with hukou and those with permits. The administrative population refers to the number of renters who have been registered at a local police station. In practice, the difference between the long term and administrative populations provides insight into how large the floating population is.

Here’s the rub: Cities and districts usually only release population statistics, even though the actual population is on record via individual precincts, which report their statistics to the District. In turn, reporting practices vary widely between districts, making it difficult to ascertain how many people actually live and work in a district, let alone in an urban village. Consider, for example, 2010 census reports from three Shenzhen Districts, Nanshan, Luohu, and Bao’an.

Nanshan District only reported the long-term population and population density:

地区别

常住人口(人)

人口密度(人/平方公里)

南山区

1088345

5630

南头街道

163237

10531

南山街道

152312

6373

沙河街道

121350

5442

蛇口街道

87304

9094

粤海街道

157807

8767

招商街道

79650

3604

西丽街道

187832

4005

桃源街道

138853

3967

Luohu District also reported he long-term population and population density:

常住人口(人)

人口密度(人/平方公里)

黄贝

111374

14850

南湖

90301

34335

桂园

82107

35699

东门

90927

43926

笋岗

63104

18238

清水河

100288

7358

翠竹

115237

33402

东晓

103113

29630

东湖

83065

2860

莲塘

83907

7769

合计

923423

11726

Finally, Bao’an District reported figures for the long-term and floating populations:

地区

人口普查口径

公安口径

常住人口(人)

占比(%)

管理人口(人)

占比(%)

宝安全区

4017807

100

6260471

100

新安

406964

10.1

569177

9.1

西乡

595584

14.8

897780

14.3

福永

471674

11.7

805292

12.9

沙井

528316

13.1

800178

12.8

松岗

396781

9.9

604722

9.7

石岩

247308

6.2

407209

6.5

观澜

451313

11.2

725509

11.6

大浪

277822

6.9

406056

6.5

龙华

364141

9.1

587322

9.4

民治

277904

6.9

457226

7.3

Now, inquiring minds want to know: how do we use the discrepancies between the long-term and floating populations in Bao’an to guestimate the actual populations in Nanshan and Luohu? Bao’an has a long-term population of 4 million and a floating population of 6.2, which is to say that the long-term population is roughly 2/3 of the total population. Do we take Bao’an as a working standard and assume that the roughly 1 million inhabitants in Nanshan are only two-thirds an administrative population of 1.5 million, while Luohu’s 920,000 long-term residents are two-thirds of an estimated population of 1.37 million? If so, this would make Shenzhen’s administrative population over 22 million people, in contrast to the reported .

That said, we know that most of Shenzhen’s floating population lives in Bao’an, Longgang and the four new districts. So perhaps the 2/3 rule would only apply in the outer districts. However, in order to know how thoroughly the floating population and lower income long term inner district residents are being displaced we need access to administrative population statistics.


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