Effects of Rural–Urban Return Migration on Women's Family Planning and Reproductive Health Attitudes and Behavior in Rural China

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Abstract

This study examines the effects of rural–urban return migration on women's family planning and reproductive health attitudes and behavior in the sending areas of rural China. Based on data from a survey of rural women aged 16–40 in Sichuan and Anhui Provinces in 2000, our study finds that migrant women returning from cities to the countryside, especially those who have been living in a large city, are more likely than nonmigrant women to adopt positive family planning and reproductive health attitudes and behavior in their rural communities of origin. We find, moreover, that living in a rural community where the prevalence of such return migrant women is higher is positively associated with new fertility and gender attitudes and with knowledge of self-controllable contraceptives. The findings of significant rural-urban return-migration effects have important policy implications for shaping family planning and reproductive health attitudes and behaviors in rural China.

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