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Number of non-locals in the city falls in '08

THE number of non-Shanghainese living in the city fell last year for the first time since the 1990s, according to a population report released by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau.

The bureau said the fall may be due to the financial crisis.

By the end of last year, the total population of non-locals living in the city was 6.42 million, 183,000 fewer than the previous year.

Residents that don't have local household registration but have lived in the city for more than six months increased 182,000 to 5.17 million last year. That increase was 140,200 less than in 2007.

The floating population ?? those who have stayed in the city for less than six months ?? was 1.25 million last year, 365,000 less than 2007.

The city's total population, which doesn't include the floating population, was 18.88 million by the end of last year, including 13.71 million residents with household registration.

Liu Xin, a statistics bureau official, said migrant workers mostly take jobs in manufacturing and construction, and wholesale and retail businesses in the city.

But it has become more difficult for migrant workers to find jobs in the city as the global financial crisis started to affect the local economy, Liu said. So not so many came to Shanghai last year.

"The population commissions in Shanghai and the neighboring provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu are getting together in the city to discuss a plan to improve the management of the migrant population," said Wu Xiangyong, an official from the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission yesterday.

She said the final plan will be announced soon.

The natural growth rate of the city's population with local household registration has been falling consecutively for 16 years, the report said. The rate was minus 0.74 percent last year, as 96,700 were born in 2008 while 107,000 died.

The report predicts that the growth rate will continue to decrease in the coming years because the household registered population of women at their most fertile reached a peak of 1.04 million in 2008 and will decrease in the future, while the death rate will keep rising.

Nearly 40 percent of the household registered population lived in the downtown districts, 34.7 percent were in the nearby suburbs and 24.5 percent were in the remote suburbs, according to the Statistics Bureau report.


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