Population Migration and Children’s School Enrollments in China, 1990-2005

Xiaogang Wu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Zhuoni Zhang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

While population migration has been surging in China since 1990, little attention is paid to the impact of migration on children’s educational wellbeing. This paper analyzes the micro-data of Chinese population censuses in 1990 and 2000 and mini-census in 2005. We match the school-age children (6-15) to their parents’ background information within the same households, and examine how parents’ socio-economic status and family living arrangement affect children’s school enrollment status. We also compare migrant children to their peers in both origin and destination counties/districts. Results show that cross-county and cross-province migrant children are less likely to be enrolled in school than local children, and that children of rural hukou are disadvantaged in school enrollment over the whole examined period. Migrant children do significantly worse than non-migrant children in both origins and destinations. As migrant children spend more time in destinations, their disadvantage in school attendance tend to diminish.

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Presented in Session 72: Migrant Workers and Children's Wellbeing in Developing Countries