Internal Migration and Living Apart in China

Juhua Yang, Renmin University of China

While there is a tendency that family members of migrants reunite at the place of destination, a good proportion of families lives apart in the process of large-scale internal migration in China. This paper, by focusing on nuclear families of married migrants, explores the latest status, patterns and associates of who moves and who is left behind by making reference to the constraints of public policies in receiving societies. Based on representative data from the 2013 China National Migrant Dynamic Monitoring Survey and drawing on a new typology distinguishing different types of living apart (e.g., only spouse, spouse and children, only children living apart), preliminary findings reveal that, hukou institution and structural barriers in receiving cities prevent migrants from being reunited. Exclusion is more salient among migrants crossing provincial boundary, moving to coastal and economically more advanced cities, suggesting that economic development does not necessarily bring about more inclusive public policies.

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Presented in Session 33: Migration and Family Dynamics