PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (7): 986-998.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.07.012

Special Issue: 人口与城市研究

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impacts of neighborhood environments on migrants' subjective wellbeing: A case study of Guangzhou, China

Yi LIU1(), Yuqi LIU2,*(), Ye LIU1, Zhigang LI3, Yingzhi QIU1   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, London WC1H 0NN, UK
    3. School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2017-09-24 Revised:2018-02-05 Online:2018-07-28 Published:2018-07-28
  • Contact: Yuqi LIU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41422103, No. 41501151


A sustainable new type of urbanization in China should be "people-oriented." Migrants are the main body of new urban residents, and their subjective wellbeing is one of the significant criteria for measuring the quality of urbanization. A plethora of literature has shed light on the low quality of migrants' lives, however, little research has been done to understand how migrants evaluate their own lives in host cities, and no study has been undertaken to link migrants' subjective wellbeing with their residential environments. Using the data collected from a questionnaire survey in Guangzhou and multilevel linear models, this study examined the determinants of migrants' subjective wellbeing in host cities. It particularly focused on the extent to which and how migrants' social ties and residential environment influence their subjective wellbeing. The results indicate that in general, migrants have a lower level of subjective wellbeing than local residents, and the cognitive and emotional components of migrants' subjective wellbeing are influenced by different factors. Social support and neighborhood environment matter in determining the cognitive component of migrants' wellbeing (life satisfaction), but the emotional component of their wellbeing (positive and negative affects) is influenced partly by some of the selected variables of neighborhood social or built environments, and no evidence shows any impact of social support. Meanwhile, dwelling conditions also show an impact on migrants' life satisfaction and negative affect.

Key words: subjective wellbeing, migrants, neighborhood environments, Guangzhou