Importance Internal migration was very important for the development of eastern regions of China and supported the export-oriented model of the country's economy. Objectives The paper aims to perform a comprehensive study of internal migration in China, analyze various approaches to the allocation of categories of migrants, identify types of internal migrants and provide a quantitative evaluation. Methods We apply the methods of statistics, historical and logical methods, as well as comparative and statistical analysis. Results The paper shows the influence of the institution of the registration on migration and mobility of people in China. It is necessary to distinguish between the status and the address of registration, as the status determines relationships between the owner and the State with regard to social benefits. We identify types of citizens of the PRC depending on the status of residence permit and the place of actual living, offer systematization of different categories of internal migrants, and quantify them. Conclusions Internal migration contributed to the development of eastern regions of the country. However, the migration process of rural workers has slowed down. This demonstrates, on the one hand, the alignment of socio-economic development of regions, and on the other hand, the increased efficiency of migration policy aimed at reforming the registration system, especially in small and medium-sized towns.
Keywords: migrant, internal migration, residence permit, population estimate
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