Being the sole resident of a remote Chinese village does have its perks for Liu Shengjia. For instance, he can choose any house he wants, though those that remain may not be in the most habitable condition. He's been living alone in the village of Xuenshanshe—"China's Lonelyville. Population 1," per CCTV News—for a decade now, the Independent reports. There had been some 20 families residing in the village, according to Mashable, but some started to relocate as resources became scarce. Others, including Liu's relatives, began to die off. He tells the Chinese-language Peoples Daily that living alone was difficult at first, according to the Independent. The howling of wild dogs kept him up at night. "But," he adds, "I started to tend a few sheep and they've become my companions. I slowly got used to living alone."
Nonetheless, Liu says he'd like to move to an area with more people "when the time comes," CCTV reports. Although surviving at Xuenshanshe is "not a problem for me," Liu still must travel long distances for food and water. He earns about $107 a month working for the local forestry protection station. As rural laborers participate in a "mass exodus" to eastern cities the phenomenon of "ghost villages" is becoming more common, the Telegraph notes. The Chinese government wants to move 250 million people from rural areas to newly constructed cities in the next decade, according to a 2013 New York Times report. (The Chinese government is relocating 9,110 people as part of its alien-hunting efforts.)