Urbanisation in China

This Hallsworth Fellowship research aims to explore socio-economic inequalities in health and wellbeing of older people in China by considering important macro contextual factors, such as rural-urban migration and rapid urbanisation.

Urbanisation and population ageing in China are inherently related, and so it is important to consider the interaction between them for social policy, in particular for migrant workers and older people with a rural hukou (household registration status).

The study utilises a range of advanced quantitative modelling techniques to examine the relationship between urbanisation, health and wellbeing in later life in China based on two national longitudinal data sets.

Alongside this quantitative analysis, this study also involves documentary analysis of policy documents from central and local governments in case study areas, and in-depth interviews with relevant policymakers, leading to well-grounded policy recommendations.

Project objectives

  • To examine how socio-economic inequalities in health and wellbeing in later life change as China becomes urbanised over time.
  • To investigate how transitions from rural to urban or degrees of urbanisation rates affect health and wellbeing in later life. 
  • To examine the mechanisms linking progression of urbanisation with older people’s health and wellbeing in China.
  • To explore the perspectives of policymakers and state authorities on the barriers to promoting healthy ageing in the context of urbanisation

Principal investigator

Dr Nan Zhang Hallsworth; Research Fellow, The University of Manchester


Professor James Nazroo; MICRA, Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research, The University of Manchester


Hallsworth Fellowship, The University of Manchester

Funding period

January 2018 - December 2020

Disciplines involved

Social research


Email: nan.zhang-2@manchester.ac.uk

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