Household Spatial Arrangements of Rural-Urban Migrants in China

Chen Chen, University of California, Los Angeles

During the process of rural-urban migration, the split household arrangement, meaning members of a household living in different places, is becoming a way of life. Split households may take different forms, and the way a household splits may change over time. Based on a longitudinal record of 300 households in Sichuan and Anhui from the 1990s to as recent as 2011, I find that couple migration and family migration are now more common than before. However, couple migration and family migration do not signal a growing desire and ability of migrants to settle down permanently in cities. Generally, the form of spatial arrangement is significantly related to the characteristics of children in migrant’s household. By actively arranging and rearranging the location of different household members, migrant households try to take full advantage of migrant work opportunities in the cities as well as to preserve the social-economic bases in the countryside.

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Presented in Poster Session 1