BEIJING — China has fewer “left-behind children” in the countryside, due to government policies helping bring migrant families together, a ministry official said on Oct 30.
“The number of rural left-behind children had dropped to 6.97 million as of the end of August, down 22.7 percent from two years ago when the government started tracking the numbers,” said Ni Chunxia, deputy head of the social affairs department of the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
Ni said that about 70 percent of left-behind children stayed in seven provinces in central and southwestern China. Sichuan topped the list, reporting 765,000 left-behind children.
More than half of the children are boys, Ni said, adding that almost all of them are healthy.
Ni credited the drop in numbers to the anti-poverty campaign, urbanization, and rural revitalization strategy, which helped urban migrants bring their children to the cities, or inspired them to return to start their own businesses in the countryside.