The Bartlett School of Planning


China Planning Research Group: Does Acculturation Really Matter for Internal Migrants’ Health?

10 December 2020, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Man in hardhat on road

Evidence from Eight Cities in China

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Fangzhu Zhang

It is widely recognized that China has experienced the largest internal migration in its history and that these internal migrants are largely excluded from urban services, posing major challenges to their health outcomes. This paper attempts to address this issue from a socio-ecological lens, examining John W. Berry’s conceptual framework of acculturation on internal migrants’ health in China. We employed the NationalMigrant Dynamic Monitoring Survey (MDMS; 2014) data, with around 16,000 samples from eight cities. Our results showed that compared to their hometown culture, where migrants can successfully integrate into the mainstream culture of the destination area, mental health stress can be prevented and self-assessed health status is improved. Well-integrated migrants showed the best self-reported health (SRH) and mental health status, while segregated or marginalized migrants received lower health scores. It was interesting to see that the origin culture only protected SRH whereas the local culture could promote both mental health and SRH. This evidence may be alarming. Local government must respect origin cultures when carrying out social integration policy. In addition, macro-migration policies should encourage local mobility within the same cultural areas to minimize the negative effects of migration.

Zoom meeting ID: 935 8661 2752

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About the Speaker

Dr. Yang XIAO

Associate Professor at Tongji University

Dr. Yang Xiao is Associate Professor at the Department of Urban Planning, Tongji University. He obtained his doctorate degree from Cardiff University after finishing his master degree at UCL. Dr. Xiao’s research focuses on examining the socioeconomic value of the built environment, residential segregation, and social health in urban China. Recently, he is interested in utilizing big data approaches to understand people’s spatial interaction with the built environment, which supports policy design making.