Beijing's per capita GDP expands 40% in past five years

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A report released on Monday shows that Beijing's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded $28,000 in 2021, up 40% compared with 2017, remaining the highest among all provincial regions in China.

The report, published by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics, reviewed the city's social and economic development from 2017 to 2021 and highlighted the role high-end industries played in bolstering Beijing's economy.

According to the report, Beijing's GDP reached the three trillion yuan threshold in 2018 and exceeded four trillion yuan only three years later in 2021. Under the principle of "seeking progress while maintaining stability," Beijing has been fostering new growth drivers for high-quality development.

In terms of its economic structure, the added value of the city's service industry continues to account for over 80% of its GDP. Beijing is also showing an edge amid its undergoing industrial upgrading. The city's digital economy sector accounted for 40.4% of its GDP in 2021, up 4.1 percentage points compared with 2017. Both high-tech industries and strategic emerging industries account for about 25% of the GDP (with overlaps). Beijing's added value of cultural industries accounts for more than 10% of its GDP, which ranks the highest in China.

Innovation has played a bigger part in boosting Beijing's economy. In 2020, the share of research and development (R&D) expenditure in Beijing's total GDP reached 6.44%, up 0.95 percentage points compared with 2016. Specifically, Beijing's funds for basic research accounted for 16% of its R&D funds and 25.4% of the country's total basic research funds.

The city has proactively optimized its spatial planning and built clusters for high-end industries. Home to over 90% of Beijing's high-tech service and cultural industries, Beijing's core urban area has strengthened government affairs services and improved cultural facilities. At the end of 2021, the proportion of permanent residents dropped from 9.7% to 8.3%, and those living in the core urban area decreased by 7.5 percentage points. The number of employees at legal entities decreased to 10.9%.

The city's high-end industrial areas, such as Zhongguancun Science Park, have contributed to half of Beijing's economic output. Their added value in 2021 amounted to 2.2 trillion yuan, accounting for 53.6% of Beijing's GDP, 5.3 percentage points higher than in 2016.

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