The Social Survey Program of "One Thousand People, One Hundred Villages"

As the signature program of Renmin University of China, the "One Thousand People, One Hundred Villages" social research program has the longest history, the widest coverage and the greatest influence. Since it’s founding in 2012, the program has organized more than 1,000 teachers and students each year to go to China's rural areas and communities to conduct systematic and standardized practical research based on in-depth interviews and questionnaires over the past 10 years or so. The program covers a range of volunteering activities, including assisting the elderly and the disabled, popularizing the law in the countryside, and accompanying the left-behind children, thus guiding young students to experience the broad picture of "poverty alleviation" and "rural revitalization". Overall, the program has covered over 12,000 people, collecting more than 9 million pieces of data and more than 6 million words of primary material.

This summer, the 2023 "One Thousand People, One Hundred Villages" program returned again. 351 survey teams of 1,834 RUC youths headed to 118 cities and counties in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, conducting questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews in more than 9,000 farmers' homes.

From the border area to the snow-covered plateau, the footprint of RUCer can be found in every corner of the country. The practice team reached as far north as the village of Bachang, Tongjiang City, Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, as far east as the Ayagmangan Village, Shushi County, Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on the Pamir Plateau, and as far south as the Maona Village, Shuiman Township, Wuzhishan City, Hainan, in the tropical rainforest.

The following are some of the villages where the RUC survey teams conducted their field study.


The village that reached moderate prosperity ahead of schedule

The Tayuanzhuang Village, Zhengding Town, Zhengding County, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province is wildly known as the village that reached moderate prosperity ahead of schedule. Poverty reduction has always been a top priority of China. For the Tayuanzhuang Village, it’s secret to reach moderate prosperity ahead of schedule is transforming its growth drivers from low-end industries to emerging industries like tourism, among other collective economy. The investigate teams were greatly impressed by its remarkable changes over the past years. More importantly, its success pointed out the way to achieve moderate prosperity.

The village of lucid waters and lush mountains

The Yucun Village, Tianhuangping Town, Anji County, Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province is the cradle of the world renown idea that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. During the 2023 "One Thousand People, One Hundred Villages" program, RUC students met with people who have witnessed the birth of the idea and are familiar with details of it.

Thanks to the environmental idea, the village has managed to develop into a beautiful place with mersmerizing natural scenery. Currently, the city is striving to develop green economy. From selling local stone to selling regional culture, the city is exploring a path of development. In addition to the traditional food and beverage industry, accommodation industry and etc, the village is trying to sell products with the unique cultural features of Yucun village to the rest of the country and even the world. Yu cun’s "Global Partner" program, which covers the fields of study and education, culture and creativity, and digital economy, also speak well of Yucun's relentless pursuit of new modes of economic development. Evidently, the concept of " lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets " originated from Yucun has long been deeply rooted in people's hearts, and is leading a new chapter in the construction of a beautiful China.

The story of poverty alleviation

In Shibadong Village, Shuanglong Town, Huayuan County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao ethnic groups Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan Province, China, the program tried to understand China’s stories of poverty alleviation

Shibadong Village is a mountainous village located in a remote area. It is challenging to fulfill the task of poverty reduction in such a place. Nonetheless, as the place where the idea of "precise poverty alleviation" was proposed, it has been transformed from a poor mountainous village into a model village for poverty alleviation in the new era. Tian Xiao, the one in charge of the development of the village, told us that over the years, Shibaodong Village has been seeking proper approaches in accordance with its conditions to boost collective economy on the basis of the five characteristic industries of red tourism, kiwifruit cultivation, tea oil industry, labor economy, and running water, leading the villagers to a better life.

Through a few days of survey in the village, the team members saw that the village roads, stone roads, drainage pipes, public health stations and public toilets, among other infrastructures in Miaozhai have taken on a new look. Collective industries such as waterworks and Miao embroidery cooperatives has resulted in increased jobs for villagers. The ongoing kiwifruit planting base featuring voluntary shareholding by the villagers and profit-sharing at the end of the year has brought tangible benefits to the villagers. Increasingly, young people are returning to their hometown to start their own businesses, as proved by Brother Shi Kang, an online celebrity who, like many of his peer counterpart, are becoming the new business card of the Shibadong village by taking advantage of short video platforms to publicize the special tourism of the countryside and selling local specialties via live broadcasting. Of course, there are only more problems to be solved after the economy is developed. As for how to overcome the monotony and fixation of the local industrial structure, how to stimulate the effective participation of villagers in grassroots democratic governance, and how to solve the problem of the loss of young labor force, the Shibadong villages will continue to find its solutions on the road of rural revitalization.

The story of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way

Dawan Village, in Huashi Township, Jinzhai County, Liuan City, Anhui Province, is a village whose story is closely intertwined with the nation.Located in the heart of the Dabie Mountains, the village was plagued by poverty for a long time. In order to ensure that not a single one village fall behind in poverty reduction, many methods were adopted to boost economic development there. Seven years on, the once backward city that are doomed to poverty due to its geographic location has taken on a new look. During our visit, we tried to figure out how the city managed to shake off poverty through field visits, household visits, interviews with village cadres, and reding relevant information. It turns out that the village has made great efforts to develop home tourism, rafting and other projects as part of its efforts to make tourism a pillar industry. Collective economy is booming in the village as many programs can be found in the village, including Mullein base, tea plantations, Ganoderma lucidum cultivation, photovoltaic power generation. The list goes on and on.

We were particularly impressed by a woman who was so excited when telling his story of building a moderately prosperous family. She told us that she used to operate a clothing store for living. But now, thanks to the business remodeling there, she opened a store to sell local dishes. “Life are getting much better, and Our family has also been on the Television Show to share our stories to more people”, said the woman.

The story of environmental protection

In Jiangjiaping Village, Laoxian Town, Pingli County, Ankang City, Shaanxi, a story of boosting economic development with environmental protection is going on. There are clear sky, lucid water and green trees in the village. When you walking on the paths that wind through the mountains here, you must be impressed by its peace and harmony.

What impressed the investigate group the most was its excellent natural scenery. In order to protect the environment, the local residents have adopted a series of measures like returning arable land to the forests and planting trees in otherwise uncultivated land so as to expand green area. In addition, the village also worked hard to popularize organic agriculture. For example, the rice is grown in the fields together with fish, a method that requires less additional investment and brings less pollution. Thanks to the new method, the use of fertilizer and the discharge of contaminated water were slashed. The village also has a booming tea industry. The growth of tea is making the city a beautiful garden and a livable place. The story of Jiangjiaping Village is a story of environmental protection, or more specifically, a story of boosting economic development with environmental protection.

The above-mentioned villages are some of the places where the Social Survey Program of "One Thousand People, One Hundred Villages" were conducted. Similar story of poverty alleviation and environmental protection are also happening in other parts of the country. In Jiangjiaping Village, Laoxian Town, Pingli County, Ankang City, Shaanxi, for example, the investigate team came to know how the country strived to promote the” Two Assurances and Three Guarantees” program, which refers to assurances of adequate food and clothing, and guarantees of access to compulsory education, basic medical services and safe housing for impoverished rural residents. In Shengshan Village, Maoping Town, Jinggangshan City, Ji'an City, Jiangxi Province, they witnessed how the hardworking civil service worked day and night to left the village out of poverty. With joint efforts, the village has developed its own agricultural food industry. A few years, there was no job opportunities that young people were forced to go to big cities for employment. The past few years, however, witnessed the influx of young people.

“Seeking truth from the facts” is RUC’s motto. By visiting the Chinese villages in person, students can have a first-hand view of the broader picture of China.  In this regard, the "One Thousand People, One Hundred Villages" social research program plays an important role in helping RUC students learn what’s going on in the country and accordingly trying to figure out the solutions to problems faced by China.