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March 10, 2012

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Shanghai's women not happy with high costs

Women in Shanghai are becoming increasingly unhappy due to soaring living costs, especially house prices, according to a nationwide survey.

The All-China Women's Federation, a government agency, has been conducting surveys about how women in cities across the country feel about the quality of their lives in each of the past six years.

Its latest research for the 2010 to 2011 period puts Shanghai women in sixth place among 10 major cities on the Chinese mainland, trailing Beijing.

Their satisfaction with life has been eroding ever since the 2007 survey, when they topped the happiness list.

In the latest findings, most respondents attributed a growing sense of anxiety to the cost of living and the high cost of finding a place to live.

"CPI (consumer product index)," "incapability to buy an apartment" and "low income" were the top three causes of women's unhappiness.

In 2011, an average Shanghai resident's disposable annual income was 36,230 yuan (US$5,741) while new homes were selling for almost 21,000 yuan per square meter.

Air pollution

The survey questioned 100 women in each city. Their average age was 36 and around 71 percent were married.

About 64 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with their or their family's current income.

The survey found that the happiest women worked in government offices or state-owned companies.

Women with a higher educational background also tended to feel happier than others.

The top two annoyances of city life were air pollution, a particular concern in Beijing, and noise, the survey found, coming ahead of water, rubbish and food safety.

The living environment in Beijing got the lowest rating of all the 10 cities.

The happiest women were to be found, in order, in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province, Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province in the south, Changsha, capital of the central Hunan Province, and Dalian, a major city in northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Women in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province in the northeast, were the least satisfied with their lives.

Chengdu, Ningbo and Lanzhou were the other cities included in the survey.


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