For someone coming the first time to Dalian from a foreign country, you would not know what life for residents is like. In this post, I have gathered a few interesting demographics that will help give you a better glimpse into what life is like for people here. I will answer a few simple questions.
Where do the people live?
Dalian is a city full of high rise buildings. Most people live in some kind of multi-level apartment building. It is very very rare for someone to live in a stand alone house. I did a survey among 58 friends and friends of friends here in Dalian. I asked them how tall the building where they live is, and I thought the results were very interesting.
So, you can see from the results that most people live in tall buildings. Only four of the fifty-eight people live in a building less than four stories tall. Most people live in buildings that are between four and twenty stories and a few lived in buildings taller than that. This is a city of tall buildings. Most people here do not just walk in their front door. They generally have to take stairs or an elevator to get to their house.
I attached some photos of apartment buildings that are a good representation of what apartment buildings here look like. The first set of photos are of lower income apartments, and the next set of photos are of the higher income apartment buildings. Most people in Dalian will live in apartments similar to the lower income apartments or somewhere between, the lower-income and high- income apartments.
Lower Income Apartments
Higher Income Apartments
How are the classes divided?
In Dalian, there is a lot of industry and people working different jobs and doing different things. There is a good mix of both poor and rich as well as many people in the middle. A visible evidence of people`s class and financial level is evident in their ability to own houses and cars. People that would be considered upper class would be those with the ability to buy a house and own a car. If they are able to afford the price of a house and a car and all the additional fees that come with ownership, then they would definitely be a step above most people. Many of the poorer people in Dalian work more of the physical labor type of jobs. They would do a lot of the cleaning, construction, and factory type jobs. They would not own a car or afford taxis but would take bus or another form of mass public transportation to get around.
How many people have cars, telephones, TVs, cell phones, etc.?
Cars In Dalian, there are approximately 1.2 million motor vehicles in operation. Dalian`s population is approximately six million people which means that about one in five people drive a motor vehicle. Not all these vehicles are personal cars so the percentage of people that own a vehicle would be lower than 20%
Telephone and Cell Phone It seems like everyone in Dalian has a cell phone. Everywhere you turn people are talking and messaging on their phones. Usually, younger people will be carrying smart phones while the older generation usually has some sort of older style phone. I have yet to meet someone here in the city that I asked for their contact info that did not have a cell phone. China`s population is over 1.3 billion, and it has over 1 billion mobile phone customers. There is also an additional 284 million fixed phone line users. This means only a small percentage of people do not have a phone. Most of these people would be in rural areas or very old in age. In the modern city of Dalian, there are tons and tons of phones.
Television In all of China, Dalian included, the television market is dominated by China Central Television Station. This is the only national TV station, and it has over 1.2 billion viewers or 95.6% of China`s population. It has the world`s largest audience. It has a network of over 45 channels. There are also local provincial stations available for people in Dalian to watch. Some overseas programs can also be watched. TV in China is highly censored. The government controls what is shown and controls all programming. It will often remove or black out shows that it deems negative to China`s image or that contain controversial material. Despite all the censorship in China, most people can still watch whatever they want through the accessing approved and unapproved websites on the internet.
Info obtained from the following websites: http://dl.sohu.com/20131118/n390356006.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_industry_in_China http://www.inaglobal.fr/en/television/article/cctv-12-billion-viewers-strong, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Central_Television