Longitudinal Survey on Rural Urban Migration in China
Data Set Description
The Longitudinal Survey on Rural Urban Migration in China (RUMiC) consists of three parts: the Urban Household Survey, the Rural Household Survey and the Migrant Household Survey. It was initiated by a group of researchers at the Australian National University, the University of Queensland and the Beijing Normal University and was supported by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), which provides the Scientific Use Files. The financial support for RUMiC was obtained from the Australian Research Council, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Ford Foundation, IZA and the Chinese Foundation of Social Sciences.
RUMiC was established to study the patterns and effects of migration in China and was designed to provide a longitudinal dataset covering a five-year time span.
It collects data on three populations:
- Rural households both with and without migrants (through the Rural Household Survey)
- Urban resident households (through the Urban Household Survey)
- Rural-to-urban migrants (through the Urban Migrant Survey)
The research topics of the RUMiC comprise the welfare status of migrants: their jobs, incomes, physical and mental health, their children?s education and health, and the extent to which they assimilate into their city communities. The questionnaires obtained individual- and household-level information.
The individual-level component covers four areas:
1) Household composition
2) Adult education
3) Adult employment
The household head answered questions covering:
1) Social networks
2) Lifecycle events
3) Household income
4) Household assets
5) Housing conditions
6) Information on the rural home village
The employment section focuses on the labor market performance of adults. Different questions were asked to salaried workers, the self-employed and unemployed. For the Migrant Survey, selected questions were also asked regarding migrants? first job in the city.
Children's module surveys children aged 0-15 or over 15 but still at school. The Migrant Survey covers both children who live in the city with their parents and those left behind in the countryside. The Rural Survey only covers children whose parents did not migrate. The same questions are used in both surveys.
The social network section contained several sub-sections covering also the network of spouses not present in the household, of children aged over 15, of the parents of both the household head and the spouse. Questions also cover the employment and education status of up to five closest contacts.
The survey locations are primarily based on whether a province is one of the major sending or receiving regions.
The Rural Household Survey was conducted in 9 provinces: Anhui, Chongqing, Guangdong, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Sichuan, and Zhejiang.
The Urban Migrant Survey was conducted in the following 15 cities, which are provincial capital cities or other major migrant receiving cities: Bengbu, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Hefei, Hangzhou, Luoyang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Shanghai, Shenzen, Wuhan, Wuxi, Zhengzhou.
The Urban Household Survey was conducted in 19 cities and includes the following additional cities to the Urban Migrant Survey: Anyang, Jiande, Leshan and Mianyang.
The RUMiC survey is designed to provide a longitudinal dataset covering a four-year time span, tracking respondents so long as they remain in the surveyed cities and villages. The Rural and Urban Household Surveys follow a normal tracking method used in any longitudinal surveys with subjects having permanent living addresses. In general, the attrition rate for these two populations is within the normal range. Between the first and the second waves, the attrition rate for the Rural Household Survey was 1% and for the Urban Household Survey was 5.7%. The attrition rates for these two samples increased between the second and the third waves due to the change in survey conductor, but they still remain in a low range.
The tracking for the Urban Migrant Survey, however, is more difficult. The pre-test results indicate that migrant workers on average stay in a city for around 3 years, and none who lived in a residential address stays for more than a year. To ensure the tracking result, the survey team recorded the individual migrants? work and home addresses and other contact details in the cities as well as their home villages. We also recorded the phone numbers of three close relatives or friends of each interviewee so that we could track them even if they and their households moved. In addition, the team designed a tracking incentive scheme of three lotteries each year, with prizes from 50 to 2000 Yuan. Despite these efforts, the attrition rate for the Urban Migrant Survey has been very high.
The survey does not track returning migrants due to high costs. Between the first and the second wave, partly due to the high mobility and partly due to the global financial crisis, the attrition rate for the Urban Migrant Survey was 64%. In the subsequent waves the attrition rate gradually came down with the second to the third wave attrition rate being 52% and the third to the fourth wave rate being 43%.
The RUMiC survey was part of the RUMiCI project, which included surveys conducted in Indonesia. The Indonesian datasets will be soon publicly available. For detailed information see http://rse.anu.edu.au/rumici/;
For detailed information on sampling design and tracking (including methodology and implementation manuals), see:
- Gong, X., Kong, S. T., Li, S., and Meng, X. (2008) Rural-urban migrants: a driving force for growth, in Ligang Song and Wing Thye Woo (eds) China's Dilemma, Canberra: Asia Pacific Press;
- Meng, Kong, and Zhang (2010) How much do we know about the impact of the economic downturn on the employment of migrants?, ADBI Working Paper Series No. 194.
- Kong, S. T. (2010): Rural-Urban Migration in China: Survey Design and Implementation. In: Meng, Xin and Manning, Chris (Eds.) with Shi, Li and Effendi, Tadjuddin The Great Migration: Rural-Urban Migration in China and Indonesia, Edward Elgar Publ. Ltd. 2010.
In China the Rural and Urban Household Surveys are conducted by China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the migrant survey by Datasea Marketing Research, a survey organization. The Rural Household Survey covers nine provinces, and the Urban Migrant Survey covers 15 cities in nine provinces or metropolitan areas.
The sampling design of the Rural and Urban Household Surveys are based on that of the Annual Rural Household Survey and Annual Urban Household Survey conducted by the NBS.
The sampling design of the Migrant Survey was a team effort. In particular, Mr. Liangming Lu, Prof. Xin Meng, Dr. Xiaodong Gong, Prof. Paul Frijters, Dr. Tao Kong, Dr. Tue Gorgens and Dr. Stephen Horn all contributed to the design.
The distribution of the sample size across the 15 cities is loosely associated with the overall population size of the city. Within each city the sampling frame is defined on the bases of workplaces rather than residence. This is mainly because a sizable proportion of migrant workers in China live in workplace dormitories, construction sites and other workplaces. Thus, the residential based sampling will be biased due to the omission of this group of migrants.
All businesses, including street vendors, in randomly selected enumeration areas within defined city boundaries are included. During a listing process the total number of workers and the total number of migrant workers in each workplace are recorded. This allows the survey team to estimate the total size of the migrant worker population in each city. The listing-based information on the size of the migrant population is designed to be representative of that city and to provide a sampling frame for subsequent random sampling.
Based on the listing data, a simple random sample of a requisite number of migrant workers for each city and within each workplace is selected. The enumerators are given the number of people to be selected within each workplace. They then return to the workplaces and, based on a randomly selected birth month, select the final sample migrant workers. Once individual migrants are selected, the enumerator makes an appointment with them to interview the individuals and their family.
Scope of Data Set
Time Periods: 2008 - 2009
The Longitudinal Survey on Rural Urban Migration in China (RUMiC) consists of three parts: the Urban Household Survey, the Rural Household Survey and the Migrant Household Survey. It was initiated by a group of researchers at the Australian National University, the University of Queensland and the Beijing Normal University and was supported by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), which provides the Scientific Use Files. The financial support for RUMiC was obtained from the Australian Research Council, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Ford Foundation, IZA and the Chinese Foundation of Social Sciences.In text this should be the citation.
Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Australian National University, the University of Queensland and the Beijing Normal University (2014), Longitudinal Survey on Rural Urban Migration in China (RUMiC) (yyyy – yyyy years of data suing in your analysis). International Data Service Center of IZA (IDSC). Version 1.0. doi:10.15185/izadp.7680.1In references this should be the citation.
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- Giulietti, C., Wahba, J., & Zenou, Y. (2018). Strong versus weak ties in migration. European Economic Review, 104, 111-137.
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- Niu, G., & Zhao, G. (2018). Living condition among China’s rural–urban migrants: recent dynamics and the inland–coastal differential. Housing Studies, 33(3), 476-493.
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- Wu, Y., & Xiao, H. (2018). Social insurance participation among rural migrants in reform era China. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 27(4), 383-403.
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- Fang, Z. (2017). Panel quantile regressions and the subjective well-being in urban China: evidence from RUMiC data. Social Indicators Research, 132(1), 11-24.
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- Lee, W. S., & Zhao, Z. (2017). Height, weight and well-being for rural, urban and migrant workers in China. Social indicators research, 132(1), 117-136.
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- Xiang, A. O., Jiang, D., & Zhong, Z. H. A. O. (2016). The impact of rural–urban migration on the health of the left-behind parents. China Economic Review, 37, 126-139.
- Biavaschi, C., Giulietti, C., & Zimmermann, K. F. (2015). Sibling influence on the human capital of the left-behind. Journal of Human Capital, 9(4), 403-438.
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IZA Discussion Paper(s)
- Social Disadvantage and Children's Nutritional Status in Rural-Urban Migrant Households
- Sibling Spillover in Rural China: A Story of Sisters and Daughters
- Sons or Daughters? The Impact of Children's Migration on the Health and Well-Being of Parents Left Behind
- Parental Migration Decisions and Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from China
- Where Are Migrants from? Inter- vs. Intra-Provincial Rural-Urban Migration in China
- Risk Attitudes and Household Migration Decisions
- Social Networks and Mental Health Problems: Evidence from Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China
- China's Sex Ratio and Crime: Behavioral Change or Financial Necessity?
- Remittances and Expenditure Patterns of the Left Behinds in Rural China
- Hukou Changes and Subjective Well-Being
- The Use and Impact of Job Search Procedures by Migrant Workers in China
- Height, Weight and Well-Being for Rural, Urban and Migrant Workers in China
- The Impact of Rural-Urban Migration on the Health of the Left-behind Parents
- Risk Attitudes and Migration
- Understanding the Effects of Education on Health: Evidence from China
- Left Behind, At Risk, and Vulnerable Elders in Rural China: What the RUMIC Data Reveal about the Extent, Causes, and Consequences of Being Left Behind
- Children of Migrants: The Impact of Parental Migration on Their Children's Education and Health Outcomes
- Remittances and Relative Concerns in Rural China
- Who Is Coming to the Artefactual Field Experiment? Participation Bias among Chinese Rural Migrants
- Do Negative Native-Place Stereotypes Lead to Discriminatory Wage Penalties in China's Migrant Labor Markets?
- Expropriation with Hukou Change: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment
- Data for Studying Earnings, the Distribution of Household Income and Poverty in China
- Strong versus Weak Ties in Migration
- The IZA Evaluation Dataset Survey: A Scientific Use File
- The RUMiC Longitudinal Survey: Fostering Research on Labor Markets in China
- Sibling Influence on the Human Capital of the Left Behind
- Job Contact Networks and Wages of Rural-Urban Migrants in China
- Earnings Differentials and Returns to Education in China, 1995-2008
- The Costs of Worker Displacement in Urban Labor Markets of China
- Entrepreneurship of the Left-Behind
- Measuring the Income-Distance Tradeoff for Rural-Urban Migrants in China
- Remittances and Well-Being among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China
- Migrant Entrepreneurs and Credit Constraints under Labour Market Discrimination
- Self-Employment of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China
- Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China
- Social-Family Network and Self-Employment: Evidence from Temporary Rural-Urban Migrants in China
- Evolution of the Chinese Rural-Urban Migrant Labor Market from 2002 to 2007
Longitudinal survey dataSource:
Access to the data is provided to non-for-profit research, replication and teaching purposes. The data is available from the International Data Service Center (IDSC) of IZA.
Please contact IDSC for any access requests.
Districts, Country, Rural areas, Urban areas