Number of migrant workers in China 2018

The statistic shows the number of migrant workers in China from 2008 to 2018. In 2018, there were almost 76 million migrant workers in China who had left their homes to find work in another province.

Migrant workers in China – additional information

The amount of migrant workers in China has been increasing, in 2014, there were approximately 274 million migrant workers in China, accounting for 20 percent of the total population. It is worth noting that nearly half of migrant workers left their hometowns without their families. In terms of education, the majority of migrant workers in China are moderately educated, i.e. less than 16 percent of them did not get to finish middle school.

Migrant workers contribute significantly to China’s urbanization and modernization. More than a third of them were employed in the manufacturing industry in 2014, and 22 percent in the construction sector.

There has been a considerable rise in the average monthly income of migrant workers in recent years, which reached 2,864 yuan in 2014 – twice as much as in 2009. However, migrant workers are still far from being treated equally; in 2010, migrant workers in China received 78 percent of local workers’ hourly wage on average. However, the share of migrant workers who did not receive their wages on time has decreased significantly from 4.1 percent in 2008 to less than 1 percent in 2014. This is only a small improvement, though, since unemployment is quite high among migrant workers: In 2012, some 7.7 percent of migrant workers were registered as unemployed in western China, a percentage much higher than the national unemployment rate of approximately 4 percent.

Number of migrant workers in China from 2008 to 2018

Migrant workers who took their families with them (leaving their home town)Migrant workers who left their home town aloneInter-provincial migrant workersIntra-provincial migrant workersLocal migrant workers
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Release date

April 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

The title of the report has been translated from Chinese.

The study covered around 226,000 rural workers from 31 provinces, 1,561 districts and 8,484 villages.

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Statistics on "Migrant workers in China"

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