BESTA, China—China’s construction boom is a “game changer,” says an expert from the University of Maryland, who says that if the country can maintain the pace of its rapid growth in the next few years, it will be the world’s most populous nation by the year 2040.
In a recent report, the University’s Li Yuen said China’s construction activity is “a game changer” that has “set off a huge boom in the number of skyscraping buildings.”
In the U.S., construction activity has fallen about 50 percent since the last decade and is likely to drop another 25 percent this year, Li said in a report on Thursday.
That’s a “huge” decline from a peak of about 70 percent in 2010.
China is now building about 2,000 new towers a day, or roughly the same number as the next 10 countries combined, Li, a senior research fellow at the university’s Department of Geography, said.
The nation’s rapid economic growth has also contributed to a boom in foreign investments in China.
Li estimates that foreign investments are expected to increase by more than 100 billion yuan ($1.5 trillion) this year.
That investment will make China a major world economy, with more than 30 percent of global gross domestic product.
Li believes the country’s economy is likely set to surpass the U and Europe’s combined GDP by 2030.
The U.K. has been a major hub for China’s expansion, which has fueled a massive surge in housing prices in London.
The U. S. and Europe are also experiencing growth in China, Li added.
He attributes this growth to China’s “huge demand for building materials and services,” such as construction materials and building materials for high-tech firms.
Li estimates that Chinese investment in China’s economy will be worth $5 trillion by 2040, up from $2 trillion now.
China’s overall economy, meanwhile, is forecast to grow by less than 1 percent in 2020, according to a recent forecast from the World Bank.
The University of Baltimore’s Li said China is building more than 20,000 residential buildings a day at an average cost of $30 million per square meter, up almost 70 percent from the last 10 years.
That is far above the U.’s average of about $5 million per sq. meter.
The average price for new housing in China is also up about 60 percent from its peak in 2008, according a survey conducted by research firm Citi.
Li said this is largely due to a surge in demand for housing and to the government’s efforts to reduce the price of land in order to encourage more Chinese buyers to move there.
China’s infrastructure also is on a different trajectory.
Li found that the average number of vehicles per household has grown about 30 percent over the last few years.
China currently has more than 2.5 billion cars on the roads, up more than half from the previous 10 years, Li noted.
Li believes that Chinese cities will become more pedestrian-friendly in the coming years, and that more urban parks and open space will also help with the countrys overall urbanization.