Interprovincial Migration, Regional Development and State Policy in China, 1985–2010
- 1.4k Downloads
Internal migration in China occurs as a result of both market forces and government interventions. This paper investigates how indicators of migration have changed over the past quarter of a century using data from successive censuses, with particular attention given to the roles of regional economic development and national policy and the effects of age and education on spatial patterns of migration. The results show a surge in migration throughout the period, an increasing concentration of migration destinations and an improvement of migration efficiency prior to 2000, but a decreased focusing of migration during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Widening regional disparity has been responsible for a sharp increase of migration from the interior to the coast, and different national economic growth poles emerged as major migration destinations at different stages of economic reforms. The analyses of age- and education-specific migration flows indicate that young adults were more mobile and more sensitive than older cohorts to interregional economic differentials, and that educated migrants were more concentrated than less-educated migrants since knowledge-based industries were more concentrated than labour-intensive industries. Our findings suggest that massive eastward migration induced by unbalanced economic development and relaxed migration restrictions still persisted in the 2000s, and that the State’s recent efforts to alleviate regional inequalities were far from achieving equilibrium in the migration system.
KeywordsInternal migration Regional development State policy China
This paper is based on research funded by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR (RGC Project No. CUHK451912) and the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (Project No. 41271163). The migration indicators have been computed using the IMAGE Studio being developed as part of the IMAGE project funded by the Australian Research Council (see http://www.gpem.uq.edu.au/image) under the directorship of Professor Martin Bell at the University of Queensland. The first author would like to thank School of Geography, the University of Leeds for hosting his visit during 2013 when the research for this paper was carried out.
- Cai, F., & Wang, D. (2003). Migration as marketization: what can we learn from China’s 2000 census data? The China Review, 3(2), 73–93.Google Scholar
- Chan, K. W., & Buckingham, W. (2008). Is China abolishing the hukou system? The China Quarterly, 195, 582–606.Google Scholar
- Dennett, A., & Stillwell, J. (2010). Internal migration in Britain, 2000–01, examined through an area classification framework. Population Space and Place, 16(6), 517–538.Google Scholar
- Greenwood, M. J. (1975). Research on internal migration in the United States: a survey. Journal of Economic Literature, 13(2), 397–433.Google Scholar
- Leadership Team Office of State Council for National One Percent Population Sampling Survey & Department of Population and Employment Statistics of NBS (LTO & DPES). (2007). Tabulations of the 2005 national 1 % population sample survey. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- McKinsey Global Institute (2009). Preparing for China’s Urban Billion. Report of McKinsey Global Institute. http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/urbanization/preparing_for_urban_billion_in_china. Accessed 25 August 2013.
- National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) (2013). Statistical communiqué of the People’s Republic of China on the 2012 national economic and social development. http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/pressrelease/t20130222_402874590.htm. Accessed 25 August 2013.
- Office of National Population Sampling Survey (ONPSS). (1997). Tabulations of the 1995 national 1 % population sample survey. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- Population Census Office under the State Council & Department of Population and Employment Statistics of NBS (PCO & DPES). (2012). Tabulations on the 2010 population census of the People’s Republic of China, Vol. 3. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- Population Census Office under the State Council & Department of Population Statistics of NBS (PCO & DPS). (1993). Tabulations on the 1990 population census of the People’s Republic of China, Vol. 4. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- Population Census Office under the State Council & Department of Population, Social, Science and Technology Statistics of NBS (PCO & DPSSTS). (2002). Tabulations on the 2000 population census of the People’s Republic of China, Vol. 3. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- Zhang, L. (2010). The right to the entrepreneurial city in reform-era China. The China Review, 10(1), 129–156.Google Scholar