This law calls for each child to have nine years of formal education. To meet this requirement, a child will attend either five years of elementary education, followed by four years of junior middle school, or six years of elementary education, followed by three years of junior middle school. Today in China, the second system, or ``6-3'' system is the more commonplace. While the Compulsory Education Law calls for each child to have nine years of formal schooling, it is recognized that certain realities prevent this nine year standard to be implemented immediately. Therefore, a provision of the Education Law is that China shall be divided into three categories: cities and economically developed areas, towns and villages with medium development, and economically backward areas. In the first two categories, the nine-year standard has, in most cases, become universal. Estimates are that in areas comprising 91% of the population, primary education has become universal. Indeed, by a 1994 estimate, 98.4% of elementary school-aged children entered school, with a dropout rate of less than 2% per year. Of the primary school graduates, over 80% go on to junior middle school, which represents about 75% of the relative age cohort. However, in the ecomonically backward areas, which contains about 25% of China's population, a variable timetable for implementing compulsory education has been tied to each such region's local economic development. In short, the nine-year standard continues to be universalized, but in the strict sense compulsory education in China remains not so much a law as as aspiration.