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SZ ranking doubted


A RECENT ranking of densest cities in the world by a U.S. Web site which put Shenzhen in fifth place has been criticized by officials and experts in the city.

An official with the municipal statistics bureau said the population density within the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was 8,056 people per square kilometer at the end of last year and the figure for the whole city was 4,334 people per square kilometer. "I wonder how they ended up with the figure of 17,150 people per square kilometer," said the unnamed official.

Shenzhen covers an area of 2,020 square kilometers, of which the SEZ covers 327.5 square kilometers. However, the Web site erroneously assumed that Shenzhen covered an area of only 466 square kilometers, and made the calculation on that assumption.

"Something is wrong with the statistic definition," said Gao Haiyan, a researcher with the Shenzhen Academy of Social Sciences. "The calculation should be based on the size of the whole city."

Unlike traditional cities, Shenzhen is a "corporate" city with the manufacturing industry as its pillar industry, Gao said. Over the past 20 years, the city has seen an influx of "industrial population" which has now grown to 14 million. "Shenzhen needs to optimize its population structure," Gao said.

By the end of last year, the number of permanent residents in Shenzhen had reached 8.46 million, an increase of 186,800 over the figure recorded at the end of 2005, official statistics show.

 Shenzhen Daily

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