Migration and inequality in Xinjiang: A survey of Han and Uyghur migrants in Urumqi

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67 Scopus citations


This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on Han-Uyghur inequality by comparing Han and Uyghur migrants in Urumqi, Xinjiang. Drawing from a survey of 30 sites of service activities and approximately 600 respondents in Urumqi, conducted in 2008, the authors argue that in addition to state-orchestrated migration that has been considered a source of Han-Uyghur inequality, it is also important to pay attention to the role of self-initiated migration. Through descriptive and statistical analyses of migrants' demographic, human-capital, employment, and migration characteristics, they find that Uyghur migrants do not seem disadvantaged compared to Han migrants. The findings underscore the heterogeneity of Urumqi's labor market, the role of economic reforms that motivate migration within and to Xinjiang, and the complexity of Han-minority inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-139
Number of pages21
JournalEurasian Geography and Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Han
  • Muslims
  • Uyghur
  • Xinjiang
  • ethnicity
  • inequality
  • migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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