Yantai is a coastal town with over 2.6 million inhabitants in the northern province of Shandong.
The city is growing at a rapid rate, partly due to the creation of free trading zones, which has resulted in many firms moving to the area. The urban areas of the city are home to industry and manufacturing. However, agriculture and fishing continue to be a very important sector. The city's commercial port is a vital part of the economic growth, allowing goods to enter and leave the region.
Many children, young people and families move here in search of a better life. However, they often end up living in poor housing and have difficulties finding stable employment.
Since 1987, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Yantai.
In China, there is a big income gap between the rich and poor. Although the government has been investing in initiatives to promote employment, housing, and education, the improved standard of living is yet to reach everybody. In fact, the rapid rate of industrialization and urbanization has made it more difficult for young people with low socio-economic status to access these services. Joblessness among China’s youth is near 20%, as many young jobseekers are discouraged by the unstable economic landscape. The job market has been struggling to keep pace with education rates: well-educated young people also find current jobs and the culture of overwork unattractive.
The working population in China has to prepare for an increasing number of elderly dependents. China’s total dependency ratio will likely exceed 75% by 2055, higher than the estimated global average. This means there is a high ratio of dependents (people younger than 15 or older than 64) to the working-age population (aged 15 to 64).
Because there are fewer dependent children than elderly people, young people who will soon enter the workforce will have to support an ever-growing elderly population. However, youth participation in the labour force has been shrinking.