GoKunming Articles

Kunming one of best cities to live in China

By in News on

Yesterday, China Media Group released its annual results of the Survey of Economic Life in China — and Kunming made it into the top ten of most liveable cities in China for the second time. Other cities on the list are Shanghai, Changsha, Changchun, Beijing, Qingdao, Jinan, Haikou, Shenzhen, and Xiamen.

The survey was conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, China Post and the National Development Institute of Peking University. The survey looked at happiness and security, amongst other factors that could influence the quality of one's livelihood. 130,000 questionnaires were handed out by postmen and airline crew.

One noteworthy detail is that residents in second- and third-tier cities have higher satisfaction when it comes to environmental quality and city image. People living in first-tier cities, on the other hand, enjoy a higher level of medical services and elderly care. According to the survey, Kunming is especially ideal for people aged between 18 and 35.

For Kunming's international residents, some of the points that factor in the favorable outcome of the survey may have influenced our decision to settle in the City of Eternal Spring. A relatively good ecological environment for a city of Kunming's size is one of them — Kunming is one of top five provincial capitals when it comes to air quality in China. Improving water quality of Yangzonghai lake and Dianchi Lake is a work that continues to be in progress. Being a well-connected hub for neighboring countries in Southeast Asia is another perk of living in Kunming — when travel will once again be an option that is.

The outcome of this latest survey contrasts that of another one conducted in 2017, when Kunming didn't make it into the top 20 of the happiness survey — a nationwide survey by Oriental Magazine.

What are the reasons you want to live in Kunming? Let us know in the comments!

Image: Kunming Pride

© Copyright 2005-2024 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Share this article


I have visited Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen and Kunming is much better planned than any of those cities. It is also much cheaper to live in. The roads here are wide and almost all main roads have segregated cycle lanes. As a keen cyclist, it is far better to cycle here than in any of the other cities. It is also flat here and mostly low humidity. The high altitude also helps strengthen a healthy body and make you more resilient to infection - and makes you feel younger. Of course, there are less foreigners here than the other cities, so it is great being more popular!!! The locals here are much friendlier to foreigners than in the other cities, owing to our "curiosity" value. And of course the climate here is way better than the other cities. I have no idea why Kunming isn't number one best city to live in every year. I have travelled around the world to around 50 countries and Kunming is way better than any other city to live in for a retired foreigner!

Yeah, I'm surprised too Kunming didn't make the top 5 at least. Beijing and Shanghai obviously on the list for salary reasons alone. More and more, I dont really see much difference in the towns and cities these days...all becoming standardized. That's globalization for you I suppose. Home is where the heart is...but yeah...Kunming is right up there as one of the best in the world.

I've lived in half a dozen cities/towns in China and Kunming is the one where I have chosen to stay. The weather, the "relaxed" attitude of the locals, easy access to the countryside and the lack of bad pollution are all factors that make this a decent place to settle.

"Survey of Economic Life in China"

If this "economic" is to be taken as in affordability, then at least for me it is a major point.

If I speculate this from local perspective, last I checked the local average salary was below the monthly automatic 5000 RMB tax deduction, so average Kunming resident gets by without paying any income tax - in many other country I would probably feel satisfied if I see the city and society develop even without having to contribute to it myself by other means than my own consumption.

There isn't that much industry here, but the benefits of developing society keep trickling in anyway, and this curve (or imbalance or whatever you'd call it) will ultimately show in this kind of surveys, positively.

It is perhaps same in some more remote places, where some farmers can make a small fortune with modern technology to help them.

Also curious about when this survey was conducted - would CoVid experiences weigh in it, and how?

Agree with all sentiments above. Absolutely love the climate here. Low humidity level agrees with me. Furniture don't rust nor get moldy.

When you visit other places in China, while mingling you tell people you're from Kunming or Yunnan, they'd often respond 昆明是好地方!And they are right.

I'd add Shandong is also a worthy destination to look into for those who haven't been. People amiability culture surpasses all provinces on average. The stereotype is valid.

JanJal, adding covid experiences, perhaps Kunming stands out more. Based on limited first hand comparison. Though I can't speak for outskirt Dali where showering is a rare, luxury commodity, lol.

CoVid experiences possibly affecting this could could of course come from many perspectives.

For example, those who are or have been in urban lock-down, may appreciate the prospect of going out once it is over - opportunities which are perhaps different in Kunming/Yunnan, than somewhere else.

If the survey took place during or after lock-downs in China, people will acknowledge this and it would show in results more strongly than perhaps otherwise. Appreciating what the city or region can offer beside 12h work days and big bucks.

Login to comment