Shenzhen was a market town of 30,000 people on the route of the Kowloon–Canton Railway. That changed in 1979 when Shenzhen was promoted to city-status. According to the Government report for 2015, Shenzhen had transformed to a city with population of 10,778,900 and a metropolitan area population of over 18 million. Shenzhen was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world during the 1990s and the 2000s. Shenzhen's population boom slowed down to less than one percent per year by 2013 as the manufacturing boom ebbed in favor of other industries.
Shenzhen's modern cityscape is the result of its vibrant economy made possible by rapid foreign investment. Significant sums of finance have been invested into the SEZ by both Chinese citizens and foreign nationals. More than US$30 billion in foreign investment has gone into both foreign-owned and joint ventures, at first mainly in manufacturing but more recently in the service industries as well.
Shenzhen is a major financial center in southern China. The city is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen ranks 19th in the 2016 edition of the Global Financial Centers Index published by the Z/Yen Group and Qatar Financial Centre Authority. It also has one of the busiest container ports in the world.