GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (7): 1640-1650.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020181078

• Everyday Life Geography and Urban-Rural Leisure • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Family migration and settlement intention in China’s medium-sized city: A case study of Wenzhou

Sainan LIN1,2(), Qi LIANG1,2, Zhigang LI1,2(), Ruiqiu PANG3   

  1. 1. School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
    2. Hubei Habitat Environment Research Center of Engineering and Technology, Wuhan 430072, China
    3. Northeastern University Jangho Architecture, Shenyang 110169, China
  • Received:2018-10-08 Revised:2019-05-23 Online:2019-07-20 Published:2019-07-12

Abstract:

Entering the “New Era”, along with the promotion of China’s new-type urbaniza-tion, the meaning of “people-centered urbanization” has become more and more important. How to integrate and citizenize (shiminhua) migrants in Chinese cities is increasingly becoming a significant policy issue. Extensive empirical studies have been carried out on migrants’ settlement intention in Chinese cities. However, many studies focused on the institutional barrier created by rural-urban dichotomy, while little attention has been given to the impacts of the current trend of “family migration” on migrants’ settlement intention. Particularly, little research on this topic has been done in the small and medium-sized cities. Existing studies found that migrants in different cities have distinct levels of settlement intention, local contexts matter. As such, this paper uses Wenzhou as a case study, to explore the influence of family migration on migrants’ settlement intention. The research shows that migrants in Wenzhou did not have a very strong settlement intention. Results from logistic regression models reveal that hukou status has no significant effect on migrants’ settlement intention, while individual’s occupation, stability of work and family migration have significant impacts on migrants’ settlement intention. We argue that individual’s socioeconomic characteristics, instead of intuitional barriers, have become increasingly important for migrants’ settlement. Furthermore, the paper points out that it is necessary to emphasize the differences between large cities and medium-sized cities in the mechanism underlying migrants’ settlement intention. The existing studies in large cities have found that migrants’ intention to stay in the city is largely for maximizing their income. However, our study indicates that migrants’ settlement intention in medium-sized cities is not only determined by income, but more importantly by family factors. Migrants with a whole family in the city tend to have higher settlement intention than couple and single migrants do. We suggest that to have a whole family in the city would effectively lift migrants’ willingness to settle down. Therefore, in the background of new-type urbanization and civilization of agricultural population, small and medium-sized cities should seize the opportunity to attract talents by considering family-oriented policy design, which would help stimulate migrants’ willingness to settle down and also enhance their settlement capacity, and finally achieve "people-oriented urbanization".

Key words: new-type urbanization, migrants, settlement intention, family migration, Wenzhou