Survey Shows Post-90s Generation with Higher Levels of Happiness

December 26, 2018
Editor: Xie Wen

Young people in China are generally contented with their sense of achievement, security and happiness throughout the country, according to a recent survey released by China Youth Online.

The survey was carried out among 6,081 individuals, with support from China Young Volunteers and the official Weibo account of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League.

Respondents were asked to give a score out of 10 on the above three key topics, returning an average of 7.59, 7.89, and 7.82, respectively.

Hu Xiaowu, deputy dean of the Urban Science Research Institute of the School of Social Sciences of Nanjing University, east China's Jiangsu province, said his personal transformation is typical of the vast majority of Chinese people from his generation.

Based on an analysis of the scores of different age groups, people from the generation born in the 90s marked a relatively high score on the sense of happiness. Those from the generation born in the 80s showed more satisfaction in their sense of achievement.

The result indicates that the generation born and brought up after the introduction of reform and opening up policy have enjoyed the full benefits of the policy. They have a clear perception of the good life brought about by the policy and are willing to express this opinion.

This situation will be a source of continued impetus to deepen reform, say the authors of the report.

The highest sense of happiness and lower sense of achievement of the 90s may be attributable to their personal experience, as the older generation have experienced more in their lifetimes.

By contrast, people born in the 90s have no such strong sense of security or achievement due to their relative lack of experience, who, nevertheless, feel they are living in a happy era.

Hu further explained that those born in the 90s were usually the only child of the family after the implementation of the reform and opening up. Their parents were commonly born in the 70s or earlier, who could provide better material living conditions for their offspring. This led to such children becoming a generation of consumers.

The post-90s generation have a lower sense of security because they are still at the early stages of their growth and life struggle. They have not yet had sufficient social capital, security elements or supporting conditions, say experts.

By analyzing different gender groups, authors of the survey conclude that there are many differences between men and women in the perception of the three topics. Men are more likely to have a higher sense of happiness, security and gain as compared with their female counterparts.

Specifically, men's sense of security reached 8.06, which is significantly higher than that of women, at 7.55.

In this regard, Sun Baiying, director of the Department of Administration and Management of the School of Public Administration of Renmin University of China, noted that women's demands for life are usually higher than that of the men.

This is determined by their levels of perception, aesthetic sentiment, and sensitivity to the external environment, and because women are more likely to be idealistic and romantic than men. A sense of achievement is usually determined by two factors, namely the objective factor of the quality of delivered service and expectations.

The higher expectations they have, the lower their sense of achievement, says Sun.

The analysis of places of residence revealed that respondents from second-tier cities registered the highest of 7.67 on the sense of achievement, and the rural respondents scored the lowest of 7.53. In terms of happiness, respondents in towns and counties gave the highest score of 8.01, and people in the first-tier cities the lowest of 7.73.

People in the towns and counties also gave the highest score on the sense of security (7.91), whilst those in first-tier cities the lowest (7.70).

Sun believes that the low sense of achievement of people in rural areas is related to the supply capacity of public services, such as the deficient implementation of elderly care pensions and basic social security, as well as the existence of numerous cumbersome policy procedures and incomplete institutions.

People in big cities tend to have low sense of security and happiness, as they have to spend too much time commuting to and fro work each day and therefore lead a fast-paced life.

Hu said that in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the sense of anxiety is brought about by the pace of life, the sense of "squeezing" caused by the size and density of the population, and that this definitely affects people's sense of happiness.

In contrast, in second-tier cities, where the overall development indexes are relatively high, and people are not as busy and anxious as people in first-tier cities, people have a higher level of comfort and convenience.

Among the respondents, men account for 52.4 percent and women 47.6 percent.

The 18-28 age group account for 73.4 percent, and the 29-35group and above-35 group account for 8.7 percent and 17.9 percent respectively.

In addition, college degree holders makes up 57.1 percent of the respondents, vocational college degree holders 20.7 percent, and master's degree holders 4.5 percent and Ph.D. holders 1.1.

In terms of place of residence, 14 percent of the respondents live in first-tier cities, 23.1 percent in second-tier cities, 20.0 percent in towns and counties and 12.4 percent in the rural areas.

(Source: / Translated and edited by Women of China)

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