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Circulation as a means of adjustment to opportunities and constraints: the settlement intentions of China's floating population in the cities

Yu Zhu, Fujian Normal University and Australian National University

China’s floating population is one of the most mobile populations in the world. Most of its members keep circulating between their places of origin and destination, and maintaining their double residential status. Based on a survey, this paper argues that the unsettling nature of China’s floating population and their settlement intentions in the cities are not only affected by their household registration (Hukou) status, as conventionally perceived, but also determined by their strategies adopted to make full use of socio-economic opportunities and avoid risk and disadvantaged conditions in both the places of origin and destination. Such strategies will continue to play important roles in China’s migration and urbanization process for the foreseeable future. Policies should be made not only to assist those who intend to settle permanently in the cities, but also the majority who still need to circulate between the origin and the destination.

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Presented in Session 168: Circulation and suburbanization