(ECNS) -- Approximately 71 percent of respondents to a new survey say they have left first-tier Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) or are considering leaving because of strict permanent residency policies and skyrocketing housing prices.
China Youth Daily and wenjuan.com canvassed 2,000 people who are working or have worked in the four cities, and found that 23.3 percent of respondents have moved to other cities, and another 47.7 percent are considering such a move. Among the rest, 21.5 percent haven't thought of leaving, while 7.5 percent have no opinion.
The top reason for leaving is high housing prices (64.4 percent), followed by high living costs (46.9). While the respondents' favorite alternatives are provincial capitals or municipalities (46.7 percent), 32.4 percent say they have eventually returned to first-tier cities.
The survey showed that respondents whose hometowns are in county-level cities have the strongest motivation to leave first-tier cities, accounting for 80.2 percent, followed by those from prefecture-level cities (76.3 percent) and those from towns or villages (75.9 percent).
Also, respondents from central China show the strongest desire to leave big cities, with those who have left or are considering a move taking up 77.6 percent.