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Survey: Big city residents are lonely

08-11-2010 08:31 BJT

An overwhelming majority of people living in China's big cities feel lonely and overburdened, a recent survey has found.

The survey, conducted by Fashion Health magazine, polled 69,000 people nationwide, of whom more than 90 percent said they felt lonely living in big cities.

Nearly half of the respondents said they were unhappy with their living conditions, while another 20 percent are "extremely discontent" with the living conditions.

Most of them are residents of Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen.

Nearly 50 percent said they are not satisfied with the money they make or save, while 20 percent said they were extremely unsatisfied with their incomes. Only 3 percent claimed to have enough money.

Of the 70 percent of respondents who are facing economic difficulties, more than half said the apartment mortgage is their biggest burden.

Some 40 percent blamed economic factors for feeling overburdened, while 35 percent said they are under pressure due to work and another 35 percent due to relationship problems.

The respondents were split in half when asked if they were satisfied with their emotional life.

More than 35 percent said the pressures of city life were keeping them from sleeping well at nights, while 75 percent claimed they don't know of a proper channel to vent their frustrations.

When faced with immediate pressure, 55 percent said they choose to take a nap or stay silent, 25 percent consult their families and friends and another 22 percent said they "go out and have some fun".

Peng Kaiping, the head of the Psychology Department of Tsinghua University told Shanghai Morning Post that the survey "should be taken seriously".

"China entered a post-industrial society when its GDP per capita reached $3,000. And in a post-industrial society, people tend to feel lonely and pressurized," he said.

Peng added, the fact that the respondents clearly spilt on "content" and "discontent" calls for attention, as well as that most respondents see money as an outstanding measure of happiness.

However, Zhang Zhenyu, a professor at the Shanghai Psychological Society, felt the survey is not a true reflection of reality.

"I have been working on pressure control for years and I don't think the problem has gotten so bad," Zhang said. "I am not saying they cooked the figures, what I am saying is people tend to remember unpleasant experiences more vividly."

But still, he said, if the survey can bring more attention to the issue, which does pose a threat to the society, "it is good".

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: China Daily

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