One college student spends on average an amount equal to 1.1 times the net income of our nation's citizens, or 3.5 times that of rural residents." Recently, Nankai University's student seminar reached this conclusion via a survey.
Supported by the school's "Innovation Fund", this survey titled "Spending pattern of college students in the Beijing-Tianjin region" covered eight institutions of higher learning and about 9,500 college students filled out the survey questionnaires.
The survey finds that the average monthly spending of college students in Beijing is about 615.7 RMB (US$75) and that in Tianjin is around 440 RMB, taking up 33.7% and 24.1% respectively of their family's monthly income.
In rural families, this proportion increases to 56.6% and 40.4% respectively. When school tuition and housing costs are thrown in, college students in these two regions spend an average of 10,287.5 RMB each year.
According to the latest statistics published by the National Bureau of Statistics, China's rural residents have an average per capita monthly income of 272.2 RMB while city residents enjoy per capita monthly income of 854.9 RMB. In 2004, the nation's urban citizens have per capita disposable income of 9,422 RMB compared to rural citizens' per capita disposable income of 2,936 RMB.
One member of the survey team said, "On some campuses, 'rich kids' would way overspend, laptops, MP3, digital cameras are in their possession and they compare with each other on their material possessions. One of the most exaggerated example of overspending is that one student changed six mobile phones in three years!"
One of the more eye-catching results of the survey is the amount of money spent on romance. Some 1.5% of those surveyed spend an average of more than 500 RMB on this alone.