SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (9): 1464-1472.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2019.09.012

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The Impacts of Housing Conditions on Migrants’ Settlement Intention in the Cities: Evidence from Fujian Province

Lin Liyue, Zhu Yu(), Ke Wenqian   

  1. Institute of Geography, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, Fujian, China
  • Received:2018-09-23 Revised:2018-12-24 Online:2019-09-10 Published:2019-12-02
  • Contact: Zhu Yu
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41601165);Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province(2018J01738);Excellent Youth Foundation of Fujian Educational Committee(20180497)


China’s floating population is the biggest mobile population in the world. Most of its members are still not able to settle down and be fully integrated into the destination cities, and a growing body of literature has been devoted to understanding their settlement intention and its determinants in such a context. Housing greatly influences the settlement of both internal and international migrants. Nevertheless, within the growing body of literature, far less attention has been devoted to the role of housing conditions in migrant settlement in cities. In addition, the rise of housing marketization has broadened housing choices for migrants, encouraging settlement intention to be a more complicated process. However, few studies have addressed the diverse patterns of settlement intention under the interaction of institutional constraints and housing marketization. This study goes beyond this limitation and investigates how housing conditions measured by ownership, location, residential pattern and housing affordability affect rural migrant urban settlement intentions. Using the data from a migrant survey in Fujian Province in 2015, we first utilize a composite index consisting of three dimensions to measure migrants’ settlement intention, namely, long-term residence intention, permanent settlement intention, and hukou transfer intention. And then using the ordered logistic regression model, we explore the impacts of housing ownership, housing location, residential pattern and housing affordability on migrants’ settlement intention. The results show that: 1) The overall level of migrants’ permanent settlement intention is not high in the China’s cities, which is not strong as suspected in public debates. 2) The rate of the “High” degree of migrants’ settlement intention increases as the housing conditions level and their housing affordability increase. 3) After controlling for the effects of individual characteristics, migration patterns, migrants’ housing conditions play a critical role in affecting their settlement intention. With owner housing strongly promote migrants’ settlement intention, and migrants living in the central city are more likely to settle down in the cities than their counterparts in the suburbs. Furthermore, lower degrees of housing expenditure-income ratio have significant negative effect on the migrants’ permanent settlement intention. Meanwhile, migrants living with their family members are more likely to settle down in the cities than those living alone. Based on the above findings, we suggest that housing should be integrated into relevant policy making in China’s current efforts to boost migrants’ permanent settlement. For example, instead of granting urban hukou status, an open housing market with more eligible and affordable housing access would provide a broad channel for permanent settlement, which is the preference of rural migrants.

Key words: migrants, urbanization, urban settlement intention, housing conditions

CLC Number: 

  • K901.3