Rural–Urban Migration in China and Indonesia
Edited by Xin Meng, Chris Manning, Li Shi and Tadjuddin Nur Effendi
Chapter 5: The Educational and Health Outcomes of the Children of Migrants
Sherry Tao Kong and Xin Meng 1 INTRODUCTION In 2005, at least 126 million migrants from rural areas were working in Chinese cities (NBS 2006a). In addition to its immediate-and sizeable-economic effects, migration on such a scale has important implications for the welfare of the next generation. The children of migrants either move to the cities with their parents or stay behind in the countryside to be cared for by other family members. While reliable statistics on the number of children left behind in the countryside are hard to come by, a figure of20 million is commonly cited in the literature (Ye, Murray and Huan 2005; State Council Research Group 2006: 229). I Similarly, only rough estimates of the numbers of children who have migrated to the city with their parents are available. It has been suggested that this floating population comprises about 15 million children (State Council Research Group 2006: 229; Shi 2005). The well-being of children is important not just to their parents but to society as a whole. If the development of migrants' children is compromised, not only may they fail to reach their potential, but they may become an economic and social drag on society. Like other children, the children of migrants will play an important role in China's future social, economic and political development. They will help shape the society of tomorrow. This chapter studies the educational and health outcomes of the children of migrants against the backdrop of the huge flows of rural migrants...
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