Beijing's downtown districts to reduce population

Updated: 2016-02-02 23:13


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BEIJING - Beijing vowed to reduce the permanent population in its six downtown districts by 3 percent from previous year in 2016, local authorities said Tuesday.

Data from Beijing Statistics Bureau showed that the six downtown districts, namely Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan, had a permanent population of around 12.9 million by the end of 2015.

Lu Yan, director of the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission, the economic planning body, said the permanent population growth in downtown areas should dip into negative territory this year as the city continues to move out "non-capital functions".

Defined as people who have lived in the city for six months or more, the permanent population of Beijing was 21.7 million by the end of 2015, close to the whole of Australia.

The overpopulated city has sought to address "urban diseases" such as traffic congestion and air pollution by easing the demographic pressure on downtown regions and transferring some universities, hospitals, companies and wholesale markets to suburban areas or nearby cities.

In the next five years, the permanent population in the downtown areas will drop by a further 15 percent from 2014 figures, authorities said.