Shenzhen Population 2021

12,591,696
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Shenzhen's 2021 population is now estimated at 12,591,696. In 1950, the population of Shenzhen was 3,148. Shenzhen has grown by 234,876 since 2015, which represents a 1.90% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Shenzhen, which typically includes Shenzhen's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Shenzhen is a city in China that is located along the southern tip of the country and lies along the eastern bank of the Pearl River. The town that was once home to just 30,000 residents has grown to a metropolis that boasts an urban population of over 10 million in 2016.

Shenzhen is located in the Guangdong Province in China, and it has become one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas. The 2016 population for the metropolis is 10.828 million, a slight increase from the estimated 10.78 million recorded at the end of 2014. Its role in foreign investment and as a financial center helped the city transform from a market town to a bustling technology and manufacturing hub that has the third-busiest container port and fourth-busiest airport in China.

Shenzhen Demographics

Shenzhen’s population of over 10 million is spread across 1,991 square kilometers. The city’s advances in the high-tech, logistics, final services and cultural industries has contributed to its population boom over the last 35 years. The city was ranked 19th in the 2016 Global Financial Centres Index and was elected as one of the top 10 cities in China for expatriates. Expatriates choose Shenzhen as a place to settle because of the city’s job opportunities as well as the culture’s tolerance and open-mindedness, and it was even voted China’s Most Dynamic City and the City Most Favored by Migrant Workers in 2014.

The dominant language in Shenzhen is Mandarin, making it the only city in Guangdong to primarily use the language. A large number of public service workers and businessmen speak English, as well. Younger generations often speak English and Cantonese.

According to 2010 data, the main religions followed in Shenzhen are Chinese folk religions, with 37% of residents claiming this religion during a Southern California University research study. Buddhism is the religious choice of 26% of residents, according to the survey, while Christianity, Taoists and Muslims comprise other religions. Fifteen percent of the residents chose no religious affiliation.

The average life expectancy in Shenzhen is 78 years old, according to 2010 data, which indicated an increase of 1.26 years in life expectancy compared to 2005.

Shenzhen History

Shenzhen’s recorded history goes back well over one thousand years, as the first records available bearing the name date back to 1410. However, evidence suggests that the first human activity in the area dates back over 6,700 years ago. The name Shenzhen translates to “deep drains,” named for the drains created in paddy fields around the rivers and streams that are still in the city today. The area has over 330 rivers and streams.

Migration to the area began during the Southern Song Dynasty in 1127 to 1279, although real growth did not begin until the 1980s and 1990s, after Shenzhen was incorporated as a city in 1979. In 1980, the first special economic zone was created. The border town grew from just 30,000 residents to more than 10 million throughout this period, becoming one of the top destinations for expatriates to settle because of its industrial achievements, including the design industry which employs over 60,000 people.

Shenzhen is often referred to as the cultural and economic hub of southern China due to its innovation across multiple sectors. It also is known for its culture of volunteering, with over 8,500 social organizations serving the community with almost one million volunteers. It has been chosen as China’s Most Charitable City multiple times in the past. Shenzhen also has a rich cultural history and has thousands of cultural performances for the public annually.

The city is a popular tourist destination, with the Chinese Government naming it “Excellent Tourist City.” Its 283 square kilometers of coastline and subtropical vegetation, along with its beaches and historic relics including Dapeng Fortress and Nantou Ancient City has contributed to the city’s tourism industry.

Shenzhen Population Growth

Shenzhen’s population has grown at an astounding rate throughout the years, climbing from just 30,000 in the 1970s to over 10 million in 2016. Future growth of Shenzhen along with Hong Kong and Guangzhou has been estimated to top 120 million in the near future. According to current population estimates, the city’s population will exceed 11 million in 2020 and will hit almost 13 million by the end of 2030.

Shenzhen Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
203515,185,4810.69%104,409
203415,081,0720.78%116,473
203314,964,5990.87%129,114
203214,835,4850.97%142,162
203114,693,3231.07%156,071
203014,537,2521.19%170,379
202914,366,8731.30%184,958
202814,181,9151.42%199,189
202713,982,7261.55%212,774
202613,769,9521.66%224,507
202513,545,4451.75%233,590
202413,311,8551.83%239,222
202313,072,6331.88%241,303
202212,831,3301.90%239,634
202112,591,6961.90%234,876
202012,356,8201.88%228,099
201912,128,7211.85%220,885
201811,907,8361.84%214,661
201711,693,1751.83%210,504
201611,482,6711.84%207,280
201511,275,3911.84%203,260
201411,072,1311.84%199,597
201310,872,5341.83%195,730
201210,676,8041.84%192,733
201110,484,0712.55%261,155
201010,222,9163.98%391,652
20099,831,2643.98%376,138
20089,455,1263.99%362,725
20079,092,4013.98%348,340
20068,744,0613.98%334,995
20058,409,0663.98%321,726
20048,087,3403.99%310,253
20037,777,0873.98%297,949
20027,479,1383.98%286,534
20017,192,6049.80%642,190
20006,550,41422.33%1,195,724
19995,354,69022.30%976,241
19984,378,44922.30%798,258
19973,580,19122.26%651,911
19962,928,28022.33%534,533
19952,393,74722.30%436,416
19941,957,33122.30%356,851
19931,600,48022.26%291,429
19921,309,05122.33%238,957
19911,070,09422.30%195,094
1990875,00035.28%228,202
1989646,79835.23%168,487
1988478,31135.34%124,891
1987353,42035.28%92,173
1986261,24735.28%68,134
1985193,11335.23%50,305
1984142,80835.34%37,288
1983105,52035.28%27,520
198278,00015.01%10,178
198167,82214.99%8,839
198058,98312.58%6,593
197952,39010.18%4,841
197847,54910.18%4,395
197743,15410.17%3,982
197639,17210.20%3,625
197535,54710.18%3,285
197432,26210.18%2,982
197329,28010.17%2,702
197226,57810.20%2,459
197124,11910.18%2,229
197021,89010.18%2,023
196919,86710.17%1,834
196818,03310.20%1,669
196716,36410.18%1,512
196614,85210.18%1,372
196513,48010.17%1,244
196412,23610.20%1,133
196311,10310.18%1,026
196210,07710.18%931
19619,14610.17%844
19608,30210.19%768
19597,53410.18%696
19586,83810.18%632
19576,20610.17%573
19565,63310.19%521
19555,11210.20%473
19544,63910.16%428
19534,21110.18%389
19523,82210.21%354
19513,46810.17%320
19503,1480.00%

Shenzhen Population Data (Urban Area)

Name Population 2021 Growth
Shanghai27,795,7022.72%
Beijing20,896,8202.12%
Chongqing16,382,3763.21%
Tianjin13,794,4501.51%
Guangzhou13,635,3972.51%
Shenzhen12,591,6961.90%
Chengdu9,305,1161.85%
Nanjing9,143,9803.35%
Wuhan8,473,4051.30%
Xi An Shaanxi8,274,6513.42%
Hangzhou7,845,5012.66%
Dongguan7,451,8890.59%
Suzhou7,427,0965.05%
Foshan7,406,7511.09%
Shenyang7,373,6552.13%
Haerbin6,526,4392.18%
Dalian5,775,9382.81%
Qingdao5,742,4862.18%
Ji Nan Shandong5,513,5972.86%
Zhengzhou5,510,3413.53%

Other Cities in China

  1. National Bureau of Statistics of China - China data and statistics
  2. Shenzhen Government Online - Official government website of Shenzhen
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources