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Guangdong Reports 20 Million Migrants

The migrant population in south China's Guangdong Province, pioneer of the country's two-decade reform and opening-up, has exceeded 20 million, which tops all other provincial areas.

Migrant rural workers flocked to Guangdong in the 1980s and 1990s, becoming an indispensable labor force in many product lines of the Pearl River Delta area, Sunday's Economic Daily reported.

According to the statistics released by the provincial government, migrants in Guangdong reached 21.303 million in February this year, accounting for about one third of China's total migrant population.

Experts say that every one out of three job-holders in Guangdong are migrant workers from other Chinese areas.

Take Dongguan City for an example, it was only an unknown agricultural county with a population of no more than one million two decades ago. However, it is a world-famous manufacturing base, with its migrant population topping five million.

According to a survey conducted by the provincial government, young migrant workers contributed to 25 percent of Guangdong's GDP(gross domestic product) growth in the past 25 years, which grew 13.4 percent each year on average.

Migrant workers contribute a lot to Guangdong's prosperity and meanwhile, Guangdong provides extensive job opportunities for them, Zheng Zizhen, a research fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Guangdong Province, was quoted as saying.

In the past decade, a total of 80 million migrant workers in Guangdong brought their own home towns more than 200 billion yuan (US$24 billion).

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2004)

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