Some modifications of China related timezone info.

Ken Ken
Sat Feb 25 02:52:01 UTC 2012

On Fri, Apr 28, 2006 at 03:52:53PM +0800, Zhe Su wrote:
>   I don't think we should count floating population, because those 
> part of population is "floating", many of them will move around 
> frequently.

While _individuals_ in this category may come and go, in the aggregate the "floating" population in these areas has been consistently and continually growing.  They are a real population.
The statistics I've seen (at least the ones that were of good
quality) only reported the *officially registered* portion of these populations, so clearly the actual population of each urban agglomeration is actually higher than typically reported, but I'm not sure how this might affect the relative populations of Beijing and Shanghai.

>   And the data source that you mentioned is apparently wrong.

It's not that simple.  The data sources I've been able to track down are all over the map as to the absolute number associated with each city.  Part of this is just that they are reporting based on different criteria: is the registered transient population included?
Is the unregistered transient population estimated?  Is the census just of the city proper, or does it include the entirety of the "urban agglomeration"?  How recently did the enumeration take place?
And what methodology was used to collect the information (official census vs. statistical sampling, for example)?

Except for the fact that it is five years out of date in a region of very high demographic flux, the document that I would have trusted most is the Fifth National Census (done in 2000-2001), which still rated Shanghai more populous by a significant amount.
But clearly that isn't sufficient, so let's compare the value that you quoted from a Dec. 2005 page on with a page I found from Jan. 2005 (in English):
If the two sets of values are presumed to both be correct, then that means that Beijing's population grew by an astounding 10% over the course of the year!  (Almost all from immigration, since you also quoted the 0.07% "natural" growth rate.)  Surely there must be a disagreement between how the National Population and Family Commission of China (quoted by xinhuanet) and the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (quoted by chinadaily) do their counting.
This is the very kind of discrepancy that makes determining "the"
truth very challenging.

So I suggest the following: the populations do seem to have converged significantly over the 15 or so years since the Asia/Shanghai entry was created, and the trend lines strongly suggest that if Beijing has not yet overtaken Shanghai as the largest city in China, it is very likely to do so soon.  So I say that Asia/Beijing and Asia/Shanghai should just be preemptively linked: we're talking concentrations of over 15 million souls in each case anyway, which is surely significant enough to be worth at least as much as the Africa/Timbuktu link?  (As to which is listed as primary and which as the link, I really don't care.  Toss a coin.)

		--Ken Pizzini

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