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Young Migrant Workers Spend Income on Themselves

While 90% of the migrant workers of the older generation send their income home to raise the family, 70% of the younger migrant workers spend all of their money on themselves, the Guangzhou Daily reported.

A recent survey shows that by the end of 2005, there were 26.80 million migrant workers in Guangdong, accounting for 18.1% of the floating population in China. The floating population not only contributed greatly to the local economic construction, they also helped boost local consumption. In 2005, the industrial added value for tertiary industry reached 957.94 billion yuan, accounting for 12.4% of the nation's tertiary industrial volume. The tertiary industry in Guangdong generated 224.88 billion yuan of tax revenue, accounting for 53.5% of the total tax revenue in Guangdong, and 12.5% higher than the national average standard. Guangdong leads all other provinces in China in terms of its tertiary industry development. Without the 26-million-odd migrant workers in Guangdong, such rapid development might have been impossible.

Although the general consumption volume of the migrant workers group might be large, the per capita consumption volume tends to be rather small. It is estimated that each migrant worker in Guangdong spends about 500-800 yuan a month for their living expenses.

While 80%-90% of the migrant workers in the old generation send their money home to raise the family, only 30%-35% of the new generation do so. For this group of people, their money serves as an important source of income for their family members at home. This shows that for this group of migrant workers, they spend most of their money in rural areas. The money is mostly used for the following purposes: building a house at home; paying for the tuition fees of their children or of their sisters or brothers; paying for their own wedding ceremonies (or their children's wedding ceremonies); supporting their parents or other family members.

For most of the other young migrant workers, however, their money is mostly spent by themselves. These migrant workers do not have much family burden and most of them are not married. They don't have much farming experience and they want to integrate into the city life. As the survey shows, 65%-70% of the migrant workers in the younger generation spend most of their money in buying things for themselves. They don't send their money home. Most of them have bought mobile phones and their telecommunication fees account for 15%-25% of their total expenditure.
( June 20, 2007)

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