China on the move

I found a nice paper on migration inside China from Vox 1 They look at migrations inside China, and find a lot of things that you would expect. Network effects are important, leading people from one place to tend to move to the same place and cluster in the same jobs. This is what a lot of sources tell us about historical migration in China, but it is nice to see it confirmed with hard data. One thing I find particularly interesting is the extent to which migrants keep a foot in the countryside. Sojourners under the Qing and Republic were less likely to visit the old sod, I would guess, unless they were rich. As the chart below shows, over a quarter of current migrants spend 2 months a year back home. That is either a very long Spring Festival, or maybe they are coming back regularly. It may just be that the data are capturing more recent migrants, and they might tend to visit home more. In any case, there is some interesting data and nice graphs in here.


  1. Actually, I think someone else found it. It was in my bookmarks, but I have no idea how it got there 

One response

  1. “over a quarter of current migrants spend 2 months a year back home.”

    wow! a great majority of them must be students. they have long winter and summer vocations.
    I can only stay at home for up to three weeks a year, and that’s when i cancel all my travel plans and use up all public holidays and annual leave to go back home. Same with my friends. That’s really a tough problem for migrants, who are mostly the only child in their families.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *