Decreasing Number of Left-behind Children
As an increasing number of residents, who live in less-developed areas of China, have been leaving home to work elsewhere in recent years, caring for the left-behind children (whose parents have left home to work elsewhere) has become an issue of great concern. Some experts even suggest the issue has become a serious social problem. Gao Xiaobing, Vice-minister of Civil Affairs, recently told media China had more than 6.97 million left-behind children (in rural areas), down 22.7 percent from 2016.
Gao said the decrease in the number of left-behind children should be attributed to both the growing number of children who moved to other regions with their parents, to live with their parents, and the increasing number of children, minors from poverty-stricken families and left-behind children), to ensure the workers maintained accurate records of the children's personal information. So far, the workers have compiled files on rural left-behind children in 31 of China's provinces, municipalities or autonomous regions. Gao said, by the end of this year, the workers will complete the work of compiling files on left-behind children throughout the country.
According to the ministry's statistics, 96 percent of the left-behind children are taken care of by their grandparents. The statistics also indicate 78.2 percent of the left-behind children study in primary or junior middle schools this year, an increase of 12.9 percent over 2016.