Life Satisfaction in Urban China: Components and Determinants

Simon Appleton, Lina Song

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)


Survey data from urban China in 2002 show levels of life satisfaction to have been low, but not exceptionally so, by international comparison. Many of the determinants of life satisfaction in urban China appear comparable to those for people in other countries. These include, inter alia, unemployment, income, marriage, sex, health, and age. Communist Party membership and political participation raised life satisfaction. People appeared fairly satisfied with economic growth and low inflation, and this contributed to their overall life satisfaction. There was dissatisfaction over pollution, but this-like job insecurity-does not appear to have impacted on life satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2325-2340
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Development
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • economic growth
  • happiness
  • life satisfaction
  • unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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