3. China Migration Today : An Emerging Destination for Economic Migration


Historically, China has been a migrant sending source to developed countries such as the United States and Europe in search of jobs as well as new lives. In the past few decades, China has undergone huge changes in demography and economy. As one of the largest economic countries in the world, China is becoming a destination country for transnational migrants.

China Demographic Change in Millennium

The change of demography in China was reported by China’s 2010 census, the average annual population growth between 2000 and 2010 was 0.57 percent. Although the number of 60 plus aged people increased about 3 percent from 10.4 percent in 2000 to 13.3 percent in 2010, working aged population whose age between 15-54 declined from 0.95 percent in 2005 to 0.19 percent in 2010. What was worse, the continuous declining among people from 15 to 54 will lead to negative 0.23 percent in 2030. This declining means the China current surplus labor force will come to an end quickly by fast growing old generation.

China Economic Change in Millennium

Since the reformation of 1979, China has transformed from a planned system to a market oriented system. Nowadays, China has become the second largest economic country in the world after the United States. According to China Ministry of Commerce, in 2010, $106bn of foreign direct investment was attracted into China which increased 17.4% higher than that in 2009. Meanwhile, it was reported by the National Bureau of Statistics of China, China GDP grew on an average of 2.0 percent from 2011 to 2013, with a highest 2.5 percent in June of 2011. In the end, the continuing economic growth of China GDP expanded 2.20 percent in 2013.

Looking Forward: Is China toward a New Migration Transition? 

It is likely, due to inner labor forces shortage and Chinese working age population shrinking, China government will absorb more migrant workers to fill the gap. What’s more, the rapid economic growth in China has truly emerged as a destination country for economic migration. Therefore, is that with a base population of 1.34 billion, China could come to dominate the global migration system?

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7 Responses to 3. China Migration Today : An Emerging Destination for Economic Migration

  1. Ikibibi says:

    It is amazing to hear how China is progressing economically, However they have to start producing other wise in the next 50years they wont have a working group like Germany! in the end China will be dominated by people from abroad. great article

    • lipingblog says:

      sorry, i can not agree with you, China has been the largest manufacturers nowadays, China leads all emerging markets with 89 companies on the latest Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest. however, China does not have a single representative on Interbrand’s list of the top 100 global brands….. the most urgent thing for China companies is to develop global brands instead of producing like a factory ………..

      • Mimi mwenyewe says:

        When she wrote; “hey have to start producing other wise in the next 50years they wont have a working group like Germany” I believe she is refering to the population! As in China, you can only have 1 child! Which means, if few years, they will not have enough people to work as most of the population will be too old.

  2. I think its defenitely possible that China is moving towards a new migration transition, because the chinease population that is at the working age is rapidly declinig. I think that this could cause some serious problems not only in China but also internationnaly. It could influence whole global economy, politics and social norms. I dont think this is a positive trend, there should be new laws inforced to prevent such dramatic migration.

    • lipingblog says:

      thanks for your comment…which kind of laws should be inforced to prevent China dramatic migration ? …
      By the way, besides laws , what else can China government do to help immigration issue?

  3. Chaoyi Zhang says:

    As a Chinese, I would be glad to hear China’s economy growing dramatically which has attracted so many people where is intended to immigrate to. However, considering the environmental issue, China is definitely not a good choice to live because, recently, the most parts of the state have been suffered by fog and haze which strongly brought extreme air pollution. And more, China is still a nation where above 90% people do not have fine English speaking, so the language environment is relatively difficult to adapt.

    • lipingblog says:

      I dont think pollution will keep people away from China. China Public concern exploded increasingly. in January, 2014, China’s hyperactive microblogs logged 2.5m posts on “smog”. and it’s said that China companies and government would spend $275 billion over the next five years cleaning up the air…. Therefore, this will benefit more immigrants to China, especially environmental engineers who can help reduce smog pollution in China.

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