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School expense biggest burden for Chinese family: Survey
By admin on 2014-12-02

In China, urban and rural dwellers spend most of their family income on children's education, which is increasingly becoming the main cause of poverty for households, according to a recent survey.

The conclusion is based on a national survey of 4,128 people in the eight big cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Shenyang, Xi'an, and Nantong and seven small towns surrounded by rural areas.

The research of the 2005 Chinese life quality index carried out by the Zero Survey Company indicates that educational expenses and medical fees are the two biggest burdens for needy families in China.

About half of the surveyed people, especially the rural family, mentioned the first cause of poverty is the family having children in school. Educational expenses accounted for 32.6 percent of the total income in rural families, and 25.9 and 23.3 percent respectively in urban and town families from 2004 to 2005.

About 25 percent of those surveyed said patients in families are heavy loads for poor families. From 2004 to 2005, medical fees for rural families accounted for 21 percent of the total income, surprisingly higher than the 7.9 and 9 percent of city and town families respectively.

In recent China, the average medical fee for a hospitalized patient is 7,000 yuan (US$872), while a farmer's annual net income is only 2,000 yuan (US$249).

In addition, 14 percent of the surveyed cited supporting the elders in the family as one of the main factors of financial difficulties.

According to the surveyed people, the two main reasons of poverty are they spend too much money and cannot earn enough to meet the needs, with most attributing the latter to a lack of professional knowledge and skill.

Experts say the most efficient way to get rid of the poverty is the popularization of education, as education equity is the precondition to narrow the gap between the rich and poor.

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