In this study, we targeted white-collar workers employed in private enterprises in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and examined the characteristics of their residential patterns and population movements, with a focus on attributes such as birthplace and gender and whether they lived together with their parents. We conducted a questionnaire survey and follow up interviews based on it. Company offices were selected for the survey, and needed to satisfy 3 criteria: 1) They were located in central Hanzhou; 2) They were private companies; 3) They were head offices of the companies and the ratio of management positions in the companies was high. We distributed the questionnaire form to these head offices and conducted interviews with five human resources personnel who served as the liaison for this survey in each company. Results of the survey were as follows.
Concerning the academic background of the survey respondents, 87.2% graduated from specialized colleges or above standard. This is a high rate considering China's college enrollment rate was 23% in 2007. Concerning commuting distance and time, women tended to travel for shorter distances and time than men overall. One reason was that, a high percentage of men used their own cars to commute. Also, for women, it can be considered that they had to choose workplaces near their residences when finding employment. Moreover, there were those who chose areas close to their workplace when moving.
Another survey question asked respondents who had moved their reasons for doing so. As for the birthplace of the survey respondents, most male and female respondents were born in Hangzhou. The results revealed that few respondents had left the city for college or employment. Also notable was the living pattern in which parents lived with the respondent or close to them. Among the results was the finding that relatively fewer men than women were born in regions other than Hangzhou. In contemporary Chinese cities, men tend to bear a heavy economic burden after marriage, as a result of purchasing a home and automobile, for example. This was also the case in Hangzhou. According to interviews, the reason that fewer men than women had moved from other regions was that when single men were employed in Hangzhou, they often returned to their birthplace when they became marriage-minded. In contrast, because the economic load as described above for women is light when they marry, they remain in the same city. There are many cases of women continuing to live and work in Hangzhou after marrying a Hanzhou man.
Also, while it was assumed that the survey respondents had positions that allowed them to earn relatively high incomes in their companies, because housing expenses took up a large part of household expenditure, regardless of whether or not the respondent was born in Hangzhou, many of them lived with their parents even after marriage. The living pattern that many of them desired was "living close to their parents." However, in actuality, nearly half of the respondents said that they had no choice but to live with their parents.