In the past year, Beijing has evicted a legion of status-less migrant workers and relocated hundreds of factories to cut down on what it calls an “urban disease” of over-population. Its number of registered residents saw a rare, albeit small, decline last year to 21.7 million.
But now, some long-term, tax-paying middle-class families are moving out because new rules have made it difficult for children to get admission in city schools.
A 35-year-old man called He, who did not wish to be further identified, said he had moved out of Beijing to the neighbouring district of Hebei after new residency rules barred his six-year-old son from applying for admission to the city’s schools.
He and his son went to Hebei two weeks ago ahead of the start of the school year last week, while his wife had to move in with relatives to be closer to her job in the capital.
He, who wanted to remain anonymous out of fear his son could lose his place in school, now only sees his wife when she visits them on weekends. He quit his job in Beijing in March.