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People's Daily Online>>China Society

More Chinese younger migrant workers hope to settle in cities (2)


08:41, January 31, 2012

However, making their way in the large cities is not easy for these new comers. Education and health care are not cheap and apartment prices are absurdly expensive compared to the average wage in the country's metropolitan areas.

"Unlike the rural life that is simple and self-sufficient, we face much greater pressure in cities because we have to pay our housing and all daily necessities," said Wu Zhongliang, a migrant worker from northwestern Gansu Province who has worked in the southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province for 13 years.

Wu's five-year-old son goes to a kindergarten in the city and he has to pay about 5,000 yuan each semester. The sum is the largest expense for the family.

"It is worthwhile because education in our rural hometown is not as good as here in Shenzhen," Wu said.

Apart from the better educational environment for their children, to live in cities also means more training opportunities for migrant workers.

Among the 2,500 young migrant workers surveyed by the CFCRI, 38.6 percent said they hoped to acquire some technical know-how while 19.6 percent expressed their willingness to become technical workers.

Zhu Guangtian and his two brothers, all from Shandong's rural county of Yinan, have worked for Qingdao Port Group for 12 years. All of them have bought their own houses and settled down in the coastal city.

"We receive technical training almost every day in our work, and what we have learned has enabled us to live a better-off life today," Zhu said.

"Migrant workers trying to settle down in the cities should be given more consideration as they are the main force of Chinese urbanization," said Li Wei, a researcher at the Qingdao Academy of Social Sciences.

China's urban population has outnumbered rural residents by the end of 2011, with 690.79 million or 51.27 percent of the total population living in cities, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Under this backdrop, the Chinese government should also pay more attention to the coordinated development of urban and rural regions as agriculture is facing a looming crisis as a result of the drain of migrant workers, leaving the elderly and the women back at the rural villages, Li said.

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