Fertility of rural-to-urban migrants in China

Fei Guo, Macquarie University, Australia

This study, based on a long-term fieldwork, examines fertility behaviors of rural-to-urban migrants in China. The fieldwork was carried out both in migrants’ current community in Beijing and migrants’ native villages in Henan province. The continuity of migrants’ culture and behaviors rooted from their native places was analysed. Influences of urban society on migrants were also investigated. Results show that migrants’ fertility level was slightly lower than that of their rural counterparts but considerably higher than that of urban residents. It suggests that under current social conditions in China, it is unrealistic to expect any drastic fertility behavioural changes among migrants. When the major factors that have determined a lower fertility of urban residents, such as pension and chance of social mobility, are not relevant to rural migrants, their fertility behaviours will remain unchanged. Therefore, the act of migration per se on their fertility behaviors has not been significant.

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Presented in Poster Session 2