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Internal Differentiation within the Rural Migrant Population from the Sustainable Urban Development Perspective: Evidence from China

Xiaohong Deng    
Lei Gong    
Yanfang Gao    
Xiaoqing Cui and Ke Xu    


Population mobility and attendant issues, especially housing issues, have a major impact on sustainable urban development. In the urbanization process, a number of micro-communities with various social characteristics have come to compose the rural migrant population (RMP), resulting in internal differentiation. This study aims to reveal the demographic structure of this specific group, and to analyze the effects of the mechanism between population flow trends and sustainable urban development, taking housing demand as a starting point. To this end, a clustering model for mixed-type data based on partitioning around the medoid is proposed, and the linked characteristics and potential laws of the RMP are analyzed, based on the dynamic data of the migrant population in eastern China. To achieve sustainable urban development, the locational preferences and coping strategies of inflowing micro-communities based on city types are demonstrated. The results show that the RMP can be divided into four groups that have strong representativeness and that show significant differences in population structure and housing demand. Super-large and medium-sized cities are the main migration destinations. Several suggestions are proposed, based on these results. Housing security policies should be designed according to the housing demand characteristics and the spatial distribution of different groups. Housing security policies should play a full and positive role in reasonably guiding RMP movement.

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