China / Society

Half of farmers not interested in migrating to urban areas

By Liu Wei ( Updated: 2016-04-08 16:21

Half of farmers not interested in migrating to urban areas

Migrant workers Zhang Yaozong (L) and his wife play with their son at their home in Zhangzhuang village, Hebei province, March 29, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Fifty percent of farmers responding to a survey said they have no plans to move to towns and settle down in urban areas, reported on Thursday.

According to the study released by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) on Wednesday, only about 33 percent were positive about the idea of relocating to cities.

Around 17 percent expressed neither negative nor positive view.

The 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 will reach 60 percent in 2020, up 4 percent than 56.1 percent in 2015.

However, 66 percent of respondents said they plan to go back to their hometown after a certain age.

The report said 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.

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.

Dang Guoying, a researcher at Rural Development Institute of the CASS, said many factors will influence the urbanization rate, including household system, social security, real estate price, minimum wage and land property right.

To promote migration of farmers to urban areas, the report suggested reform of the urban and rural household system and improvement in the education system in rural areas.

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