Types of Migration in China

Donald J. Treiman, University of California, Los Angeles

Using data from a just completed 2007-2008 national probability sample of approximately 3,000 Chinese adults that includes an oversample of internal migrants and also information from recent Chinese Censuses, this paper will develop a typology of types of internal migration in China. Internal migration in China is far more complex than is revealed by the typical study, which focuses on rural-to-urban labor migration of relatively unskilled workers. In addition, however, a non-trivial fraction of people living other than where they were born are urban-to-urban movers; rural-to-urban movers who have achieved formal urban status through education or other personal achievements; rural-to-rural marriage migrants and rural-to-rural labor migrants. In addition, there are returned migrants. The task of this paper is to describe the pattern of migration and the prevalence of different types of migration as a basis for studying the impact of migration on people’s lives.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 170: The Structuring of Internal Migration