An assessment of the determinants of interprovincial migration in China, 1982-1987

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


This study attempted to assess the major determinants of interprovincial migration in the People's Republic of China. The findings suggest that the classical gravity and pull-push hypotheses can also find supporting evidence in the People's Republic of China. Basically, the differential socio-economic characteristics and circumstances determined interprovincial population movement, but relatively speaking, the destination factors played more important roles. Among the variables examined in the study, destination investment and agricultural income level had the strongest pull-force on migrants. On the other hand, unemployment of destination was found to have a push-force discouraging migrants. From the contrast between the positive effect of the destination investment and negative one of the destination unemployment, a conclusion was drawn that the interprovincial migration was largely job-related.

Moreover, people in the origin with a higher level of industrialization were less likely to migrate. The analysis also found that the higher level of educational attainment at the origin relative to that at the destination, the higher the migration. In addition, in spite of the similar influence of population and distance on male and female migration streams, the socio-economic conditions affected male migration stream to a larger extent than female migration streams.