Sat, June 19, 2010
Lifestyle > Society

Best place to live in China? Polls contradict

2010-06-19 11:19:19 GMT2010-06-19 19:19:19 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

BEIJING - Metropolises like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou figure on top of the list of people's choice of ideal places to live in China, even though more than half of white-collar workers in those big cities can't wait to get away, recent surveys have found.

A poll conducted by Horizon Research Consultancy Group asked 3,262 residents nationwide about their choice of a place to live in China.

More than 45 percent urban respondents chose Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, while 97 percent surveyed from those three cities wanted to continue staying.

Higher income, greater job opportunities and better medical and education resources were the major attractions for people who want to live in big cities, instead of medium and small ones, said Song Yingchang, a city-planning expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In contrast, a poll conducted by online human resource service provider 51job.com showed that 59 percent respondents were considering leaving first tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

High housing prices and living costs, high-pressure jobs as well as fierce competition were the main causes behind their intention to leave, according to the survey.

Wu Jing, 25, who used to work in Beijing, left for Southwest China's Chongqing municipality early this year to work at a language training institute.

"I went to Beijing with great ambitions after graduating from college in 2007. But the reality knocked me down. The workload was too much for me to handle and so was the high cost of living.

"My current job is easier than the one I had in Beijing and the money I earn now is more than what I earned in the capital city. I'm satisfied now," Wu said.

The Oriental Outlook Weekly concluded from its recent surveys that people in second tier cities such as Chongqing, Chengdu and Nanjing are happier than those living in tier one cities.

Song Yingchang from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said a method that might balance out the contradiction in the two polls is to quicken the development of urban agglomeration.

"Currently, China's big cities are too centralized in a specific region. Larger urban clusters, which ensure quick transportation network between those towns or cities, would help in the sharing of rich resources," Song said.

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