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An Increase in “Temporary Couples” among Farm Workers Who Live Away from Home

Xinhua carried an article that Ban Yue Tan Magazine, a subsidiary publication of Xinhua, originally published on the subject of the increase in "temporary couples" among farm workers who work in urban areas. According to the statistics that the Ministry of Statistics published, there are over 160 million farm workers who have migrated to urban areas. Of those over 54 percent are between 21 and 40 years old. The article reported that there could be as many as 100,000 farm workers who had formed “temporary couples” while away from home due to the long term separation from their spouses. The phenomenon is especially popular in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. A survey published by, an online job search website, showed that of 18,000 surveyed, 62 percent of the married couples live apart while 13 percent of them hardly ever see each other each year. The impact of temporary couples has resulted in a clash with the traditional marriage value system in the countryside, bringing the divorce rate to as much as 50 percent in some regions, as well as having a negative effect on the children.

Source: Xinhua, July 14, 2013