China / Society

Migrant workers prefer mega-cities: survey

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-01-28 21:30

BEIJING - To go home or stay? For China's migrant workers, the Lunar New Year is not just a time for reunion, but also a time to reconsider where to work in the new year.

Of the millions of migrant workers who return home for the holiday, some decide to settle down in their hometowns and never return, but most said they plan to come back to the cities where they work.

According to an online survey conducted by China Youth Daily, 80.5 percent of 8,672 participants said they prefer jobs in mega-cities.

All the respondents were real-name registered users on, a job information sharing website that caters to migrant workers.

Favorable prospects and well-paid jobs were the most-cited reasons behind the preference for mega-cities, and first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were the most popular.

Li Haiyang, who has worked four years as a hairdresser in Beijing,  said he came to China's capital for the plentiful opportunities and a chance to hone his skills. "Now (my situation) is way better than when I first came here."

Li's home is in Cangzhou in north China's Hebei Province, about 200 kilometers from Beijing. He has occasionally entertained the idea of going back home, but fears there would not be many clients for him there.

However, migrant workers face another plight when they choose the city's modernity and convenience. High living costs, left-behind parents and children's education were cited as the most concerning problems for city-dwelling migrant workers.

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