Sometime I am taken aback when it hits me how narrow a world view many of us have from our vantage point in the Midwest. Case in point: recent reading about growth in China was a real eye-opener as to the sheer size of their population and density. See the McKinsey & Company article All you need to know about business in China, an except from The One Hour China Book by investor Jeffrey Towson and McKinsey’s Jonathan Woetzel.
Here are a few interesting facts from the article:
- China has twice the number of Internet users than the United States at roughly 50% of the penetration.
- China has 160 cities with populations more than 1 million and 14 with more than 5 million. The U.S. has 9 cities with population greater than 1 million, and New York is the only one with more than 5 million. To be fair, if you expand the comparison to include metro areas (Combined Statistical Areas), there are 54 greater than 1 million and 12 greater than 5 million. But these are BIG areas (see map).
- In the next 10-15 years, more Chinese will move into cities than the current U.S. population (currently around $316 million), with a total Chinese urban population approaching 1 billion people. You might wonder where all of these people will go. Rapid and high-rise construction is one answer. Can you imagine a 30-story building going up in 15 days? Watch it happen.
- In the last 25 years, 300 million Chinese have moved out of poverty.