-18%: The average change in enrollment for elementary school children in Chinese cities that have become less popular over the past five years.
Chinese economics reporters, using elementary school enrollment figures to gauge demographic shifts in the country, have found a migration away from the country’s rust belt.
The logic is if a city is attractive it would retain its current population and attract more families to relocate, thus, the primary student enrollment would increase. While there was no real trend of where people were moving to, there was a consistency of where they were moving from.
China’s northeastern “rustbelt” region, which includes the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and parts of Inner Mongolia, has consistently lost primary students over the years, due to the low birth rate and migration of the existing population.