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March 12, 2014

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Young migrants are keen to look good in the city

MEMBERS of migrant families spend a higher proportion of their annual income on clothes than their urban counterparts, a survey claimed yesterday.

Younger migrants in their 20s and 30s care more about their appearance than previous generations and are prepared to splash out to look good, the poll by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said.

The study was based on the responses of 1,215 families, whose average annual income last year was about 30,000 yuan (US$4,886) per capita. Of the total, the average annual living cost was 16,097 yuan.

Among migrant families, per capita spending on clothes was 1,403 yuan, or 8.7 percent of their total living cost. Among Shanghai’s urban families, the proportion was just 7.2 percent, the survey said.

Wu Zuhong, a 24-year-old beautician from Zhejiang Province, said one of the main reasons she relocated to Shanghai was because it gave her the chance to wear trendy clothes.

“Shanghai is a dream city for young girls. Everyone can dress like a cover girl,” she said.

Wu said she earns 3,500 yuan a month and spends about 500 yuan of that on clothes.

“Clothes say a lot about a person,” she said.

“If you dress well, no one will look down on you, no matter where you come from.”

She said she also owns an iPhone and an iPad.

The survey found that 45 percent of migrant families owned a smartphone, while 25 percent possessed a tablet computer.

The main expenditure for migrant families last year was housing, at 3,425 yuan per capita. In comparison, urban families spent 2,800 yuan per person and rural families 2,200 yuan, the survey said.

About 81 percent of respondents said they lived in rented property, while 10.3 percent said they occupied free accommodation provided by their employers. The remainder lived free in the homes of friends or owned their own properties.

Wu said she moved out of the free room provided by her firm and into a place with her boyfriend. The room, on Xikang Road in the city’s downtown, costs the couple 1,300 yuan a month.

“I wanted my own space,” she said. “The free dormitory room was packed with people and I don’t like it at all.”

Migrant families spent 1,278 yuan per capita on travel last year, most of which went on bus and train tickets to their hometowns during the holidays.

One of the lowest areas of expenditure for migrant families was health care. In this category their annual per capita spending was 592 yuan, compared with 758 yuan for urban families and 589 yuan for rural households.


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