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Temporary Migration and Its Frequency from Urban Households in China


Yang, Xiushi (1992). Temporary Migration and Its Frequency from Urban Households in China. Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 7(1), 27-50.


The individual and household determinants of temporary migration and its frequency from urban households in China is examined. After 1978 economic reforms brought about dramatic socioeconomic changes in the country. In 1988 the total floating population was estimated at 50 million and 10 million every day in 23 big cities including Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. There is considerable evidence that temporary migrants account for about 20% of the resident population in most big cities. The principal data set used come from the Zhejiang segment of the 1986 National Migration Survey. An overall target sampling rate was set at 2/1000 households, and altogether 16 provinces with 74 urban places were covered. A total of 25,000 households comprising 100,267 individuals were interviewed. A 2nd data set was also used which was derived from a survey by the Population Research Center of Hangzhou University conducted in early 1988. Considering the individual variables with logistic regression, young adults aged (18-34 years) and the middle-aged (35-54 years) were more mobile than the elderly (55 years and older), but age did not affect the probability of making repeated movements. In general, males were more mobile than females, and they were also more likely to move again. Marital status did not affect the propensity to move, nor the probability of moving more than once. Formal education significantly increased the individual's propensity to move, and it was also positively associated with a higher probability of making repeated movements. White-collar workers had a significantly higher temporary migration rate than blue-collar and agricultural workers, and so did state employees compared with collective or private employees. However, there was no significant difference in the temporary migration rate between blue-collar and agricultural workers. Occupational characteristics did not affect the frequency of movement among temporary migrants.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Asia-Pacific Population Journal


Yang, Xiushi