In a country of well over a billion people, change is the rule rather than the exception.

But over the last few years a bigger change has been taking place: china is evolving from a coastal, export-led economy, to an inland, consumption-led economy. The global financial crisis accentuated this trend by leaving the inland cities relatively unscathed, but the latest figures show the trend is here to stay. By 2025, more than 20 of the world’s top 50 cities ranked by gdp will be located in asia; as expected the majority of those are in inland china.

At the end of 2010, a study identified 20 of the fastest growing cities in china. It named them the champs - after the cities of chongqing, hefei, anshan, ma’anshan, pingdingshan and shenyang. These new boomtowns all have one thing in common: rapid increases in population, income, and infrastructure development. Over the next decade, the population of those 20 emerging cities will grow by 27%, compared to 19% of china’s richest, more saturated cities. Meanwhile, over the same period, the average income gap will have dropped to 15%, giving inland consumers greater buying power than ever before.

Inspired by that study, this project set out to understand some of the hopes, dreams, and feelings of those who live and work in those cities. To put some faces & words to the names & numbers.

Visit Boomtown Stories

Featured on PSFK