Following the improvement of communications and transport systems due to modern processes of urbanization and industrialization, the phenomenon of migration has become an issue of worldwide importance. The term migration indicates a movement from one area to another, which usually includes passage across more borders happening in a precise interval of time and includes a change of residence.
From a demographic point of view, migration, together with the fertility and mortality rates is a fundamental component for measuring the population growth in a determined area. In China, the term migration indicates citizens that prior to receiving authorization from the Office of Public Security, move their place of residence from one area to another.
The official figures from the last census of Chinese population in 2010 show that for the first time in the history of China, there are more people that live in the cities than the countryside. In 1950 only 64 million people lived in urban areas while in 2010 the number reached 636 million.
What has caused the phenomenon of internal migration?
Beginning in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping instituted the era of reforms (改革开放), migration from the rural areas to the cities has become an endemic phenomenon and the root of the process of industrialization, economic growth and urbanization in China. The movement of the work force from low productivity sectors to high productivity sectors has become one of the principal components in Chinese economic growth and the main reason of the growth of internal migration. [Read more…]