PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (12): 2054-2067.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.12.008

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Changes in the form of population migration and mobility in China and corresponding policy responses at the late-intermediate stage of urbanization

LIN Liyue1,2,3(), ZHU Yu2,1,3,*(), KE Wenqian1,2,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geography, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
    2. Asian Demographic Research Institute, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
    3. Key Laboratory for Humid Subtropical Eco-geographical Processes of the Ministry of Education, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2020-03-16 Revised:2020-06-12 Online:2020-12-28 Published:2021-02-28
  • Contact: ZHU Yu E-mail:lly30@163.com;Zhu300@fjnu.edu.cn
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971180);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971168);Fujian Social Science Planning Project(FJ2018C060)

Abstract:

The form of population migration and mobility constitutes a key element of the characteristics of migration. Since China has entered the late-intermediate stage of urbanization, it is very important to accurately identify and understand the transformation in the form of population migration and mobility. While a growing body of literature has been generated and significant progress has been made on China's population migration and mobility and its determinants, an important inadequacy of relevant research are often focused on rural to urban population migration and mobility, neglecting the multi-dimensional forms of population migration and mobility. Based on relevant theories and international experience relating to the transformation in the forms of population migration and mobility, and using data from the China Migrants Dynamic Survey (CMDS), Report on Monitoring and Investigation of Migrant Workers in China, and relevant statistics, this study examined the processes of the transformation in the forms of the population migration and mobility in China and their characteristics at the present stage and the issues and challenges arising therefrom. The results show that there have been significant changes in the forms of population migration and mobility in China, and such changes mainly manifest in the following aspects: First, there has been a steady increase in return migration and short-distance migration; Second, inter-urban migration has also significantly increased and become increasingly common; Third, the urbanization process of the floating population based on the rural-urban transfer of their hukou has started to accelerate, and their rural-urban multiple livelihoods has increasingly shifted towards the urban end; Fourth, there has been a developing trend of urbanization driven by housing purchases in both migrants' places of origin and destination. The study also identified issues and challenges in the process of transformation in the forms of population migration and mobility, including: First, there is a lack of sustainability in in situ urbanization promoted by return migration; Second, urban-urban migration are highly concentrated in a few provinces of the eastern region; Third, there are still many obstacles for the urbanization of rural migrants based on their hukou transfer. Finally, the article puts forward some policy recommendations from the perspectives of the construction of multi-level spatial system of urbanization of the floating population, the transformation of urban governance mode, and the promotion of the capacity for sustainable development of small towns in central and western regions.

Key words: forms of population migration and mobility, return migration, inter-urban mobility, population urbanization, late-intermediate stage of urbanization