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China Slums: Are There Still Slums in China?

Are there still slums in China? Despite the country’s rapid urbanization, the answer is YES.

While many Western observers have praised China’s cities for their remarkable lack of slums, the reality is more complicated.

In this article, we will address the question of whether “China slums” still exist, and if so, where they are located?

Where Are Slums In China?

Informal settlements are scattered throughout the country, particularly in major cities.

Migrants and low-income residents live in inadequate, unsafe, and often illegal housing conditions, lacking access to basic services.

Some cities have attempted to upgrade these areas or relocate residents to new developments for example SHANGHAI as the local government has the money to do so.

Even today you will still see the slum remains in Shanghai.

If you decide to visit Shanghai someday, do not forget to check Central Perk Cafe!

Shanghai Slums:

If you want to see before they are completely gone, go to 北蔡靠近罗山高架, close to Beicai subway station reaching the side of Luoshan elevated road.

Beijing Slums:

If you want to see before they are completely gone, go to 朝外化石营1号 Huashiying Unit.

Do Chinese Think They Are Slums?

What is associated with slums in China are “urban villages” 城中村, or old urban areas that are now dilapidated.

Some may mistake city villages for slums due to the presence of low-income residents, Chinese villages differ from slums found in other countries.

These city villages, also known as “urban villages,” exist in both the outskirts and downtown areas of major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Despite being surrounded by modern urban developments such as skyscrapers and transportation infrastructure, they retain their distinct rural characteristics.

Fun Fact:

Some residents of urban villages in China hope that their residential areas will be selected by the city government for land planning, so that they can obtain several new apartments in the suburbs.

For example, in cities with high housing prices like Beijing and Shanghai, if they sell one apartment, they can become millionaires overnight.

In China, we call these young people who benefit from this situation “Chai Er Dai” 拆二代, which means that their wealth comes from the demolition of their parents’ crappy homes.

What Are The Differences Between Slums And City Villages?

  • Slums are formed through fast urbanization and industrialization, whereas city villages used to be in the suburbs that became part of the expanding city.
  • Slums are voluntary and illegally built clusters of houses, while city villages are legal.
  • Slums suffer from low sanitation coverage and inadequate administration, whereas Chinese governments have made efforts to improve the living environment of city villagers.
  • Slums are often a hotbed of crime, whereas city villages in China are safe.
  • Migrant population flow is driven by employment in China’s city villages, whereas slum dwellers often suffer from unemployment and extreme poverty.

What Did Chinese Government Do To Address This Issue?

  1. China has integrated city village development into urbanization, making them more livable.
  2. The country has rolled out the shantytown renovation project and developed the public rental housing sector to uplift the living conditions of the migrant population and low-income households.

Final Words:

As of 2018, almost 60% of the Chinese population were urban residents, and this number continues to grow.

The country has shown a strong commitment to addressing urban poverty and improving the quality of life for its citizens.


Is there homeless in China?

Yes, there are homeless people in China.

But you do not see them on the street as often as in western countries.

If police find them on the street, they will try to contact their family first and 90% that family members will pick them up and feel obligated to take care of them.

Where do 90% of China’s people live?

About 60% of China’s population lives in urban areas, while the remaining 40% live in rural areas.

However, it is important to note that China is a very populous country, with over 1.4 billion people as of 2021, so even 10% of the population living in rural areas represents a very large number of individuals.

Did China lift people out of poverty?

Yes, China has lifted a significant number of people out of poverty in recent decades.

According to the Chinese government, nearly 100 million people were lifted out of poverty between 2013 and 2019.

This was accomplished through a variety of measures, including targeted poverty reduction programs, investment in infrastructure, and economic development initiatives.

However, it is important to note that there are still many people in China who are living in poverty or who are at risk of falling into poverty, particularly in rural areas.

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