Life of the 'left behind' children in China

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China's left behind children
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China's left behind children
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongni,11, throws a stone as she tends to one of the family's cows in the fields on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, picks flowers as he does chores in the fields with his siblings on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children Luo Hongni, 11 (L) and brother Luo Gan,10, carry flowers to be used as feed while doing chores in the fields on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, does eye exercises with classmates at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu, 8, holds flowers she picked while doing chores on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children from right to left, Luo Gan,10, Luo Hongniu, 8, Luo Lie, 5, and Luo Hongni, 11, walk together while doing chores in the fields on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5 (R) does eye exercises with classmates at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Gan,10, uses a flashlight as he stands on his bed covererd in old clothes used as blankets on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongni,11, left, yawns as grandfather Luo Yingtao,64, ropes a cow before doing chores at the family home on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) Grandfather Luo Yingtao, 64, sits with his grandchildren Luo Gan, 10, and Luo Hongniu, 8, right, who are 'left behind' at the family house on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hangni,11, right, does exercises with classmates at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu ,8, leans on hay bales while doing chores on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Gan,10, is served lunch at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, keeps warm by a fire in the family home on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children Luo Hongni, 11, Luo Lie, 5, right, and Luo Hongniu, 8, top, sit around a fire at the family home on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children from left to right, Luo Gan,10, Luo Hongni, 11, Luo Lie, 5, and Luo Hongniu, 8, eat together at the family home on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children from the Luo family walk with their cows as they do chores on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children Luo Hongni, 11 (L) and brother Luo Gan,10, carry flowers to be used as feed while doing chores in the fields on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongni11, collapses from the weight as she carries flowers while doing chores in the fields on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu, 8 (C) washes clothes with brother Luo Gan, 10, and sister Luo Hongni, 11, right, outside the family house on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) Grandfather Luo Yingtao, 64, sits next to his grandson 'left behind' child Luo Lie, 5, as he puts him to bed at the family house on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Gan,10, watches as his grandfather Luo Yingtao,64, carries hay as they do chores on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China.(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, foreground right, listens as he sits in class at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Gan,10, uses a flashlight as he sits on his bed while talking to his grandmother Lu Guoxiu, 64, on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu ,8, hangs laundry after washing clothes with her siblings on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) Grandfather Luo Yingtao, 64, holds his sleeping grandson 'left behind' child Luo Lie, 5, as they stay warm next to a fire at the family house on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, eats lunch at home on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children Luo Gan,10, left, and Luo Hongniu, 8, do homework together by flashlight at their house on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, right, sister Luo Hongniu, 8, and grandmother Lu Guoxiu, 64, sit around a cooking fire to stay warm on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongni,11, hangs laundry in a tree after washing clothes whole doing chores on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) Grandfather Luo Yingtao, 64, smokes as he sits with his grandson Luo Gan, 10, at the family house on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, right, stands with friends at the gate to a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) Grandfather Luo Yingtao, 64, holds his grandson 'left behind' child Luo Lie, 5, in his lap as they sit at the family house on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Gan,10, tends to the family cows as he does chores with his siblings in the fields on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) Left behind' child Luo Gan,10(C), stays warm by a fire at the family house on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu,8 (R) reads in class at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongni,11, waits outside her class at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu, 8, does homework by flashlight at the family's home on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 15: (CHINA OUT) Grandmother Lu Guoxiu, 64, rubs warm water on the throat of grandson 'left behind' child Luo Lie, 5, to help with his cough on December 15, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hongniu, 8, laughs as she sits in an animal feeder on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 18: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' children Luo Hongni, 11,top and sister Luo Hongniu,8, play in hay bales while doing chores in the fields on December 18, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, background right, do schoolwork in class at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, right, walks home from school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) Grandfather Luo Yingtao, 64, carries his grandson 'left behind' child Luo Lie, 5, to bed at the family house on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 16: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Hangni,11(C), does exercises with classmates at a local school on December 16, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
ANSHUN, CHINA - DECEMBER 17: (CHINA OUT) 'Left behind' child Luo Lie,5, uses chalk to draw a picture on a wooden door of the family home on December 17, 2016 in Anshun, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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Adults across rural China are leaving in droves as they seek jobs in more developed regions. As they pack up their things, they're leaving one thing behind: their children. These kids are now known as the "left behind children."

Millions of children across China are part of this parentless generation. A recent government report stated that an estimated 10 million children are believed to be without their parents. Child welfare experts disagree with this figure, though, and set the number closer to 60 million. At this time there aren't any official numbers to properly document the widespread issue.

Many of these children go to live with their grandparents. If their extended family is already struggling to feed their household, adding more mouths to the mix can cause strife.

While a booming economy is great for China, it spells trouble for its youth. Schools and charities try to fill the parentless void but a dark cloud still hovers over these developing young minds. Experts worry that they are creating a generation of loneliness as they see growing anxiety, poor grades and depression on the rise. Yang Yanjie of Harbin Medical University says that at least 50 percent of left behind's will struggle with these issues unlike the 30 percent of China's urban children. China daily reports that 4 percent of the children received one phone call from departed parents in the past year.

The solution isn't as easy as one would assume. Children are usually unable to accompany their parents to their new home. China's documentation system states that a child can only receive health care and schooling in the area where they were born and registered.

China's government is currently working to assess and improve the lives of these children. A national census has been launched as they begin to deep dive into the country-wide issue.

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