Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

PLoS One








Internal migrants are the individuals who migrate between regions in one country. The number of internal migrants were estimated at 245 million in China in 2013. Results were inconsistent in the literature about the relationship between their health statuses and social integration. The main difference exists on how to measure the social integration and whether health statuses of internal migrants improve with years of residence. To complement the existing literature, this study measured social integration more comprehensively and estimated the internal migrants' health statuses with varying years of residence, and explored the associations between the migrants' social integration and health. We used the data from 2014 Internal Migrant Dynamic Monitoring Survey of Health and Family Planning in ZhongShan, China. Health status was measured from four aspects: self-reported health, subjective well-being, perception of stress, mental health. We measured social integration through four dimensions: economy, social communication, acculturation, and self-identity. The analyses used multiple linear regressions to examine the associations between selfreported health, subjective well-being, and perception of stress, mental health and social integration. The analytical sample included 1,999 households of the internal migrants and 1,997 local registered households, who were permanent residents in ZhongShan. Among the internal migrants, Adults in the labor force, who were aged 25 to 44 years old, accounted for 91.2% of the internal migrant population, while 74.6% of the registered population were in that age group. Median residential time among migrants was 2.8 (1.3-6.2) years, and 20.2% of them were migrating in the same Guangdong province. Except for mental health, other health statuses among migrants had significant differences compared with local registered population, e. g. self-reported health was better, but subjective well-being was worse. However, these health measurements were improved with more years of residence. Moreover, our results show that two aspects of social integration, economic integration and selfidentity, were significantly associated with health status. Subjective feeling of relative social status levels were more associated with health, which prompted the attention to social fairness and the creation of a fair and respectful culture. More interventions could be experimented, such as encouraging internal migrants to participate in community activities more actively, educating local registered residents to treat internal migrants more equally, and developing self-identity among internal migrants. Better social, economic, and cultural environment can benefit internal migrants' health statuses.

Original Publication Citation

Lin, Y. W., Zhang, Q., Chen, W., Shi, J. R., Han, S. Q., Song, X. L., . . . Ling, L. (2016). Association between social integration and health among internal migrants in ZhongShan, China. PLoS One, 11(2), 15. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148397