Chongqing is one of 5 national central cities of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and sits in Southwest China. Along with Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, it is one of four direct-controlled municipalities in the PRC and the only one in inland China.
As one of the largest direct-controlled municipalities in the country, Chongqing had an estimated 2013 population of 27,753,063, which includes the greater area. The city proper has an estimated population of about 9 million.
Chongqing's population in 2013 is 27,753,063, which is extrapolated from its population in 2011 of 28,846,170. The decline is attributed to the huge population of migrant workers, many of whom live in the city for less than six months out of the year. Despite this large population in the city proper, the urbanized area of Chongqing has a population of under 7 million while the greater area has more than 34 million residents.
A 2010 news article from the official Xinhua agency also stated that the municipality of Chongqing had a population of approximately 32.8 million, which included 23.3 million farmers. 8.4 million of its people had become migrant workers, including nearly half who worked and lived in Chongqing's urban areas.
The 2015 population for Chongqing was recorded at 30,165,500.
City Size and Population Density
Chongqing has a total area of 82,403 square kilometers (31,816 square miles) with a population density of 350 people per square kilometer (910 per square mile).
Like much of China, Chongqing has a demographics problem. While the workforce has been fueled by economic growth in the area for the last few decades, the effects of the one-child policy is taking a toll. The workforce is shrinking, but the elderly population is growing exponentially. As one analyst put it, China may become the first large country to grow old before rich.
Chongqing has a large gap between boys and girls under 20, like the majority of the country, and this will cause greater problems as the city grows. With boys outnumbering girls by 32 million in the country, natural growth will slow as the workforce shrinks.
Chongqing has a long history and was first settled around 316 BCE when the state of Ba was conquered by the state of Qin, naming the area Jiangzhou. Jiangzhou was renamed several times over the next few hundred years, Chu Prefecture, Yu Prefecture and Gong Prefecture in 1102. The name Yu survives today as an abbreviation for Chongqing. The name Chongqing itself came in 1189, when Prince Zhao Dun described his crowning as king and then Emperor Guangzong as a "double celebration" ("Chongqing" for short). Thus, Yu Prefecture was renamed Chongqing in his honor.
By 1929, Chongqing (then known as Chungking) became a Republic of China municipality, and then a provisional capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 to 1945. It was during this time that the city became the Chinese Anti-Fascist headquarters, responsible for directing allied forces of China, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, and Malaysia. It became known as the City of Heroes due to the sacrifices and hard work of its citizens during WWII.
In 1997, the city was merged with neighboring Qianjiang, Wanzhou, and Fuling to become Chongqing Municipality, with over 30 million residents in 43 former counties. In 2010, it became one of 5 National Central cities.
Chongqing Population Growth
Chongqing is expected to grow to 10 million people by 2025, although this does not include the rapidly growing rural outliers that are currently putting the city's population near 33 million. This means that Chongqing is currently one of the fastest growing cities in the world and this growth is not expected to slow.
The city's rapid urbanization and growth are due to the Chinese government's campaign to "Go West", which is an attempt to build up the population in the interior of the country through business development and investments in infrastructure. The GDP of Chongqing has quadrupled since 1998, and huge companies like Microsoft and Ford have set up here.
Despite this, Chongqing's (and China's) demographics are troubling, as its workforce continues to shrink while the elderly population only grows. By 2050, nearly one-third of the country's population will be over 60, and Chongqing is no different.
While these problems raise genuine concerns, the population growth of Chongqing shows no signs of stopping, having grown an astounding 7.5% in the last decade. At this rate, its city population will be over 10 million by 2025 with an outlying population surpassing 35-40 million.