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Fad of being 'single' rises
Latest Updated by 2006-08-28 09:01:34
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The new bachelor trend among middle-class, white-collar workers will trigger a "single economy" phenomenon in China, according to a sociology and demography expert.

Zuo Xiaosi, a researcher from the Sociology and Demography Institute of Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences in south China, said white-collar workers and middle-class people who prefer to remain single have high spending power, which may create a consumption structure different from the family-oriented one.

"Small-sized houses and cars will be more saleable than ever," Zuo said, adding that household appliances, insurance, entertainment and tourism may also benefit.

A media survey revealed that 30.35 percent of single Chinese women make housing their priority, while 30.02 percent spend most money on buying clothes and cosmetics.

However, the baby products industry is likely to suffer. The country now has 107 million babies with estimated annual market sales of 500 billion yuan (US$62.5 billion).

It is estimated that if 30 percent of parents-to-be remain single, total sales will drop by at least 150 billion yuan.

Yuan Xin, a professor from the Population and Development Institute of the Nankai University in north China's Tianjin Municipality, said the single trend will have a long-term effect on the country's consumption structure, and will boost consumption as a whole.

The term "single economy" was first coined by western economist F.T. McCarthy. However, he only included in the term single women who made a lot of money and were willing to pursue high-cost fashion and enjoyment.

Zhong Qing, a sociologist from Tsinghua University in Beijing, said at the beginning of the 21st century, there were already more than one million single people in Shanghai. Other cities such as Guangzhou, Wuhan and Beijing are also following the "singles" trend.

Chinese young people today care more about freedom and enjoyment. The high cost of marriage is one of the reasons young adults remain single, said sociologists.

"Marriage is not a cost-efficient thing since it takes so much money to buy a large house and raise a child," said Zhou Ying, a single woman working in a law office in Beijing, on her life plan.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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