People's livelihood improvement is the prerequisite of social harmony. Food, clothing shelter and transportation are the direct manifestation of the people's livelihood. In China's vast rural areas, the most significant manifestation of people's livelihood improvement is the improvement of living conditions. Based on the data on two censuses, this paper analyzes the degree of improvement of rural residents' living conditions from the changes in the rural residents' residential structure. Finally this paper puts forth the following recommendations for improving the rural residents' residential structure: continuing to put farmers in the first place; taking truly improving the residential structure as a starting point, and prohibiting the "vanity project"; taking preferential policies for the improvement of living conditions.