Housing choices of migrant workers in China: Beyond the Hukou perspective

Li Tao, Chi Man Hui, Kwan Wah Wong, Tingting Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The Hukou system has been increasingly used to explain the housing choices of migrant workers in China. These workers are not as enthusiastic to transfer their Hukou to the locality as the public has expected. Moreover, the role of Hukou is declining. Only a few studies have quantitatively analyzed the important roles of the circular status and coping strategies of migrant workers in their housing choices in China. To fill such knowledge gap and to verify the role of Hukou, this paper investigates the housing tenure and housing choices of migrant workers from the perspective of household strategies. Shenzhen is selected for the case study. Interestingly, Hukou has an indirect role in migrant housing. The remittances, plan to return to their hometowns, and residential mobility plans of migrant workers significantly influence their housing choices. Income has a greater influence on housing choices than housing tenure, but the opposite result is found for social security.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-483
Number of pages10
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Household strategies
  • Housing tenure
  • Migrant workers
  • Shenzhen
  • Specific housing choices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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