Women in Beijing feel they have a low sense of happiness and a relatively low quality of life, according to a survey released by Women of China magazine and the Hua Kun Women Survey Center on Tuesday.
Among the 10 major cities surveyed, which included Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Qingdao, Beijing came second to last for quality of life and fourth to last for sense of happiness.
Qingdao came out on top for women's sense of happiness, with 70 out of a possible 100 points, while Beijing scored only 57.5. For quality of life, Beijing earned 36.5 point, while Hangzhou achieved 83.9.
The survey found that the factors contributing most to women's happiness are all family-related: The health of family members, a harmonious family and children making progress. Their biggest worries are the rising cost of living, property prices and family income.
More than 460,000 city women aged between 20 and 60 participated in the survey, 41 percent were women in the 20-30 age group and 27 percent were in the 31-40 age group.
More than 68 percent of respondents were married. One third were office workers and 80 percent had less than 3,500 yuan disposable monthly income.
Respondents in Beijing were better educated than those in the other nine cities, with 44.8 percent having a bachelor degree and 25.9 a master's degree.
Liu Yang, a 20-something office worker, said she would give her life quality in Beijing 70-80 points, but would only give 50 for happiness.
"Life in big cities is definitely better than in secondary cities. The traffic, cultural and entertainment facilities are all convenient here, as are the shopping malls - shopping is very important to me!" she said.
"However, although you can always find a place for yourself in this city, the pace of life, work pressure and high cost of living are unbearable - especially the high housing prices."
Liu said her income in the last two years has increased a lot, "but with that comes the pressure in direct proportion".
A manager with a world top 500 company, surnamed Zhao, also had many complaints about the city where she has lived for more than 20 years since graduation.
"The traffic in Beijing is a disaster. My place should be a 20 minutes drive from work, but it always takes more than 50 minutes. The pollution is also bad," she said.
While her income looks good and her salary has been increasing every year, at the same time she has been cutting her expenses on luxury goods, because the property prices are way too high.
"I have an apartment but I'm considering purchasing a better one."
Despite all these negatives Zhao chooses to stay in Beijing, even though she has had chances to go to other cities or abroad.
"I think Beijing has something special," she said. "For top management staff, here is a good place to live."
She likes her life in Beijing so much she has no intention of leaving.
"This year, many people have left major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and headed back to secondary cities. That's a decision I would never make."
By Huang Yuli (China Daily)