Young Migrants Ambivalent About City Life

Young migrant workers struggle to adapt to life in China’s cities according to a new survey, which reports that only 6% are either “relatively” or “very well” adapted. Common problems among respondents include the attitudes of urban natives, separation of families and the cost of accommodation and education. From People’s Daily Online:

The level of social adaptation was evaluated based on respondents’ self-evaluation on five aspects: how they have adapted to the ways of living and spending in cities; their social interactions with urbanites; the extent to which they like their jobs in cities; their level of satisfaction with urban public services; how they conform to public regulations in cities.

Among the respondents, 45.5 percent were rated “medium” in terms of their level of adaptation to city life, 44.3 percent were given a rating of “low.” Only 5.4 percent and 0.2 percent were rated “relatively well” and “very well,” respectively ….

According to the report, China had 230 million migrant workers in 2009, 58.4 percent of whom were born after 1980. This new generation of migrant workers is estimated to total 84.87 million.

Nevertheless, the majority were inclined to remain in cities. From China Daily:

Settling down in cities was also the first choice for more than half of those polled. Noticeably, more women wish to move to the cities – 60 percent of female migrant workers said they wanted to stay in urban areas, some 5 percent higher than their male counterparts.

Only one out of eight polled said they planned to go back to their home village.

“I want to settle down in Beijing as it offers many opportunities for everyone,” said Xiao Li, a waitress in a restaurant in the capital city ….

“Compared to the older generation, young migrant workers have less affection for the countryside and farmlands,” said Hong Tianhui, vice-president of the All-China Women’s Federation.

“Working and living in urban set-ups is their new dream.”

Via Social Venture Group (@cnphilanthropy).

December 12, 2011 9:18 PM
Posted By: