GDP per capita is one of the important indicators to measure the level of regional development. Apart from municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities under separate state planning, and provincial capitals, what other ordinary prefecture-level cities have relatively high per capita GDP?
After analyzing the per capita GDP of various prefecture-level cities, a reporter from China Business News found that there are currently 70 ordinary prefecture-level cities with a per capita GDP higher than the national average of 70,892 yuan in 2019, of which 28 cities exceed the 100,000 yuan mark. There are two main parts of the city. One part comes from the eastern coastal areas with developed manufacturing industries and many factories; the other part mainly comes from some major energy cities in the central and western regions, dominated by oil and coal industries.
Jiangsu has the most shortlisted cities
In terms of regional distribution, 20 of the 28 cities are from the eastern coastal areas, mainly distributed in the five provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong. Among them, Jiangsu has 7 prefecture-level cities shortlisted, which is the province with the most shortlisted cities. Jiangsu is also the province with the highest per capita GDP outside of the municipalities directly under the Central Government. Last year, the province’s per capita GDP reached 123,607 yuan, ranking third after Beijing and Shanghai among all provinces.
The seven prefecture-level cities in Jiangsu shortlisted are Wuxi, Suzhou, Changzhou, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Nantong, and Taizhou, mainly in southern Jiangsu and central Jiangsu. After the reform and opening up, benefiting from the development of the export-oriented economy, the economic development of Jiangsu as a whole changed according to the distance from Shanghai. The “Suzhou, Wuxi, and Changzhou” areas nearest to Shanghai have the best economic development, followed by Nantong, Yangzhou, and Taizhou in central Jiangsu. Northern Jiangsu is relatively backward. However, in recent years, the regional gap between north and south Jiangsu has been narrowing.
Zhejiang, which belongs to the Yangtze River Delta, has 4 cities with a per capita GDP of more than 100,000 yuan, namely Zhoushan, Shaoxing, Jiaxing and Huzhou, all located near Hangzhou Bay. It can be seen that Zhejiang’s economy is also showing obvious north-south differentiation, and the development level of several cities in the core area of the Yangtze River Delta is higher than that of Western Zhejiang and Southern Zhejiang.
Three cities in Guangdong, Fujian and Shandong each were shortlisted. The three shortlisted cities in Guangdong, the largest economic province, are Zhuhai, Foshan and Dongguan. Zhuhai is a special economic zone and a central city on the west bank of the Pearl River. Although the total economic volume is not large, the tertiary industry and high-tech industries have developed very well in recent years. Foshan and Dongguan are famous manufacturing cities, and Dongguan is even more known as the “world factory”. In terms of regional distribution, these three cities are located in the core area of the Pearl River Delta, close to first-tier cities.
The three shortlisted cities in Fujian are Quanzhou, Longyan and Sanming. Among them, Quanzhou occupies the coast of southern Fujian, with textiles, shoes and hats and other light textile industries as its pillar industries, ranking first in Fujian’s total economic output for more than 20 years. Longyan and Sanming are located in the mountainous areas of southwestern and western Fujian. Although these two cities have more mountains and less flat land, their per capita GDP exceeds that of Zhangzhou and Putian, which have more flat land along the eastern coast of Fujian. This also highlights the balanced development of Fujian. Fujian is also the only province where the per capita GDP of all prefectures and cities exceeds the national average.
Ding Changfa, associate professor of the Department of Economics of Xiamen University, analyzed to a reporter from China Business News that the per capita forest area in several mountainous cities in Fujian is large, and people can get a lot of benefits from forestry and agriculture. In the past, Sanming and other places had a better development foundation. In addition, Fujian has achieved high-speed rail links between cities and counties and highways between counties and counties. The infrastructure is relatively complete, which is also conducive to the balanced development of the region.
The three shortlisted cities in Shandong are Dongying, Yantai and Weihai. Among them, Dongying is an oil city. Yantai and Weihai are economically developed areas on the Jiaodong Peninsula with outstanding manufacturing and foreign trade imports and exports.
On the whole, among the 20 coastal cities with per capita GDP exceeding 100,000 yuan, with the exception of Dongying, a typical energy city, and the prominent energy heavy chemical industries in Longyan and Sanming, the rest are mostly export-oriented economies with developed and manufacturing industries. A developed city with many factories. For example, Suzhou’s electronic information, light industry, and textiles are very prominent, making it one of the cities with the largest industrial output value in my country; Dongguan’s electronic information, textiles and clothing, and Foshan’s home appliances, ceramics, and furniture are all prominent.
For these manufacturing-based cities, they are currently facing the hurdle of accelerating transformation and upgrading. On the one hand, in recent years, foreign trade exports have slowed down, and the economic growth of these export-oriented cities has also slowed down. On the other hand, the industrial structure of these cities is dominated by the manufacturing industry. In terms of urban spatial distribution, the counties and townships under their jurisdiction are often strong but the central area is weak. The tertiary industry, especially the modern service industry, is not prominent enough. The transformation and upgrading of the urban economy.
Looking to the future, these cities have different development paths. Including Suzhou, Dongguan, Foshan, Wuxi, Nantong, Zhuhai and other ordinary prefecture-level cities in the core areas of the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, and adjacent to first-tier leading cities, the current transformation and upgrading are mainly in the process of integration of urban agglomerations and metropolitan areas , Close cooperation with first-tier cities and core cities, complement each other’s advantages, and accelerate the upgrading of its own industries by taking advantage of the opportunities of resources and industry spillovers from first-tier cities.
While Quanzhou, Yantai and other ordinary prefecture-level cities far away from the core economy and first-tier cities, although the per capita GDP is relatively high, they generally suffer from insufficient development of high-tech industries and high dependence on traditional paths. In the future, these cities still need to solve the bottlenecks such as insufficient talents and weak driving force in central urban areas.
article links：The GDP per capita in 28 ordinary cities exceeds 100,000
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