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Migrant workers prefer growing roots in cities

By He Dan  (China Daily)

08:21, December 09, 2011

A migrant laborer who works as a cleaner stands on the ledge of a high-rise building in Shanghai's Pudong New Area on Aug 21. A recent survey finds that a very small number of young migrant workers are willing to go back home to a rural life. (Xinhua Photo)

The survey, in which more than 2,500 migrant workers from 20 to 31 years old were polled nationwide, was conducted by the Chinese Research Society of Family Culture, an institute affiliated to the All-China Women's Federation.

By contrast, nearly 38 percent of the respondents chose "starting new businesses" as their ideal occupation, and about 20 percent ticked "administrative staff" or "technician".

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.

The 23-year-old, from a poor rural family in East China's Jiangsu province, started working after graduating from a junior high school in order to support her two siblings to continue their schooling.

Chinese cities attracted about 230 million migrant workers, among whom about 85 million belonged to the generation born after 1980, according to figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2009.

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