Using satellite capability, researchers from Tsinghua University monitored the intensity of night lights in more than 3,300 cities and towns in China between 2013 and 2016 and in 28% of cases, the lights had dimmed, said the South China Morning Post.
China now has 938 shrinking cities, more than any other country in the world, according to Long Ying, an urban planning expert at China’s Tsinghua University, who founded and led the research group, Beijing City Lab.
The SCMP said that based on study, the widely-held belief that China’s urbanization process is continuing, is simply untrue. The research group’s findings suggest declining populations and economic activity across almost one-third of the cities monitored, consistent with a period when official economic data also shows that China is facing significant economic and demographic challenges.
Long said that China’s 2020 census will help give further clarity on the trend.