Population migration and children's school enrollments in China, 1990-2005

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Journal / PublicationSocial Science Research
Online published30 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015


This paper examines the impact of migration on children's school enrollment by analyzing the micro-data from Chinese population censuses in 1990 and 2000 and mini-census in 2005. We match school-age children (7-14 years old) with their parents, and examine how migration status and parents' absence affect children's school enrollment in urban China. We also compare rural-urban migrant children with their peers in both origin counties and destination districts. Results show that migrant children are less likely to be enrolled in school than urban local children and that children of rural registration status are particularly disadvantaged in school enrollment over the whole examined period in urban China. Rural-urban migrant children fare significantly worse than non-migrant children in both origins and destinations and noticeably they are even less likely than left-behind children to be enrolled in school. The likelihood of being enrolled in school increases for rural-urban migrant children as they spend more time in destinations.

Research Area(s)

  • Children, China, Migration, School enrolment