A new report by the All China Women’s Federation reveals nearly 58 million children have been left behind by parents who head for the cities and jobs in factories and construction. More than 40 million of these children are under the age of 14 and have usually been placed in the care of aged grandparents who are ordinarily compelled to continue working in fields raising crops. The report notes that in many areas of China there is literally a void in the presence of a generation due to so many having left for urban areas. The only good news is about 80% are in school and most apparently are not dropping out.
There are probably at any one time in China an estimated 180 million people who have left rural areas in search of jobs and economic advancement in urban areas. Their presence undoubtedly plays a major role in economic growth, but the new report reveals as they leave millions of children are without parents. China does not know the long term consequences of what happens when 58 mllion are abandoned. Although 80% are in school, an estimated 10 million are not. Are those children encountering difficulties in adjusting to a life without a mother and father?