Chinese Farmers Not Interested in Migrating to Urban Areas
A Chinese farmer on the way to plough farmland in eastern China's Shandong province; China has said it will make it easier for farmers to move to cities. Image: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Fifty percent of Chinese farmers said they had no plans to move to towns and settle down in urban areas, according to a study released by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Only about 33 percent were positive about the idea of relocating to cities and around 17 percent expressed neither negative nor positive view, the study showed.
Farmers cited many reasons for not wanting to move to cities. Age was cited as the biggest factor, with the majority, 20 percent, saying they were too old to work in towns, while the necessity of taking care of parents and children came in second place (18%), followed by farm work (10%) and unfamiliarity with urban lifestyle (9%).
In China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), the urbanization rate was scheduled to reach 60 percent in 2020.
Starting from 2016, China will roll out policy to transform 100 million farmers into registered urban residents, according to Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission. Image: cityfarmer.info
However, 66 percent of respondents said they planned to go back to their hometown after a certain age.
If the migrants go back to rural areas after a certain period then that means the urbanization drive has not achieved its goals and that impedes the progress of urbanization, media said.
In recent years the number of migrants going to towns and looking for jobs has fallen.
The growth rate of migrants looking for jobs in towns dropped to 0.4 percent in 2015 from 5 percent in previous years.
Household system, social security, real estate price, minimum wage and land property right, all will influence the urbanization rate, said Dang Guoying, a researcher at Rural Development Institute of the CASS.
To promote migration of farmers to urban areas, reform of the urban and rural household system and improvement in the education system in rural areas are suggested.