Table of Contents

Handbook of Chinese Migration

Handbook of Chinese Migration

Identity and Wellbeing

Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series

Edited by Iredale R. Robyn and Guo Fei

The recent unprecedented scale of Chinese migration has had far-reaching consequences. Within China, many villages have been drained of their young and most able workers, cities have been swamped by the ‘floating population’, and many rural migrants have been unable to integrate into urban society. Internationally, the Chinese have become increasingly more mobile. This Handbook provides a unique collection of new and original research on internal and international Chinese migration and its effects on the sense of belonging of migrants.

Chapter 6: Migration and wellbeing of the elderly in rural China

Yue Zhuo and Zai Liang

Subjects: asian studies, asian geography, asian social policy, asian urban and regional studies, geography, asian geography, politics and public policy, asian politics, migration, social policy and sociology, migration, social policy in emerging countries, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, migration


China’s rural-to-urban migration during the past few decades is the largest in human history and has also had tremendous social and economic consequences. Although much is known about the causes and economic consequences of this migration, we know relatively very little about the impact of migration on the wellbeing of the elderly in rural China. Utilizing data from a national survey, this chapter examines the associations between adult children’s migration and multiple dimensions of the elderly wellbeing in rural China. The results show that the rural elderly with migrant children received more money from children than those without migrant children. They were also more likely to live in better quality houses. But living arrangements did not significantly differ between the two groups. Having migrant children was linked to better health status but lower levels of life satisfaction. The findings are suggestive of a multidimensional framework for research on migration and the left behind. The policy implications are also discussed.

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