Identity and Wellbeing
Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Iredale R. Robyn and Guo Fei
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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