Yansui Liu, Yuheng Li--Nature, Revitalize the world’s countryside


Revitalize the world’s countryside

Yansui Liu, Yuheng Li

        A rural revival is needed to counter urbanization across the globe.Urbanization gets a lot of attention. Most countries are expanding their cities to boost their economies and living standards1. The proportion of people living in urban areas around the world rose from 33% in 1960 to 54% in 2016, with particular growth in Asia and Africa. But the attendant rural decline barely gets a mention. In most regions, countryside communities are becoming less viable, even when their populations are slowly rising, too. In China, for example, these trends are writ large. Last year alone, nearly 170 million peasant workers — most of whom are young and fit — left their home villages and towns for cities. Work was the main reason: the number of jobs in rural China fell by more than 20% between 1990 and 2014. Urban occupations pay better: in 2015, migrant workers earned about 21% more in cities than their counterparts in the countryside.


Yansui Liu, Yuheng Li. Revitalize the world’s countryside. Nature, 2017,548(7667): 275–277. doi:10.1038/548275a.