Your City Match: Chengdu
Population: 16 million
Average Wage: $11,589/year
Air Quality Index: 117 (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups)
Migrant Percentage: 38.6%
The provincial capital of Sichuan, Chengdu is a city that balances a laid-back social life with a growing modern professional scene. It is considered a key node in the Chinese government’s “Go West” campaign—launched in 2006 to promote economic development in central and western China. More recently, the city launched the “Entrepreneurial Tianfu” program in a bid to compete for talent to bolster innovation in the city. The city government has created incentives to attract university graduates, high skilled professionals, and foreign talent to start businesses.
Life in Chengdu is relatively less hectic than the high-energy coastal metropolises. Famous for its “hot and numbing”(mala) Sichuan cuisine and giant pandas, the city also attracts a significant share of tourists, about 1.4 million a year. In addition, traditional Chinese tea culture is well preserved in Chengdu, with over 10,000 tea houses scattered across the city.