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Abstract or Description

China’s floating population, those individuals who have migrated between counties or provinces for a period of longer than 6 months, account for 79 million individuals. If intracounty migration is also included, the number jumps to 145 million individuals or over 11% of the total population. This study examines the geographical differences in short and long term migration using ArcGIS to manipulate the spatial GIS data. The study shows that both short and long term migration (in absolute numbers) occurs more frequently near cities and in coastal regions. However, by normalizing the data by population size, the study eliminates the problems of population size on the size of the migrants. Using this normalized data, the study finds that western and northern counties have a large number of migrants present relative to the size of the population. Determining where this floating population migrates helps explain regional inequalities in employment opportunities.

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