Health Indicators and Geographic Mobility among Young Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China

World Health Popul. 2006;8(2):5-21. doi: 10.12927/whp.2006.18148.


The process of rural-to-urban migration in China is accelerating with increased modernization and industrialization. To address the issues of health outcomes and geographic mobility among this population, data from 4,208 rural-to-urban migrants in two major metropolitans of China were analyzed. Results indicate that average duration of migration was 4.3 years, with younger migrants being more mobile than their older counterparts. After controlling for possible confounders, increases in mobility were associated with unstable living arrangements, substandard employment conditions, suboptimal health status, inferior health-seeking behaviour, elevated level of substance use, depressive symptoms and expression of dissatisfaction with life and work. The findings in the present study underscore the need for improved living and employment conditions and increased healthcare services available to rural-to-urban migratory population.