Health consciousness, smog consciousness and Chinese elderly migrant workers' preferred retirement place

Feng Wang, Jin Fan, Ann E Reisner, Hong Mi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although those who migrated fairly early in the Chinese diaspora are reaching retirement age, their choice of retirement location will be affected by significant rural-urban disparities in medical insurance and service, pension, environment management, and public education. The lifestyle and savings for migrant workers over 45 years old are unique; they have received the wages of urban workers but are still tied to agricultural residential identities. A field survey of 173 elderly migrant workers in Xi'an examined the relationship between preferred place of retirement and health, smog, and health environmental consciousness. Among the sample, 70.5% preferred to return home for retirement; 16.8%, to stay away from home; and 12.7% had not yet considered where they would live in retirement. Based on regression results, migrant workers who were more concerned about their personal health, less concerned about the effects of city smog, who had property in rural areas and who were less educated were significantly more likely to say that they would return to rural areas for retirement. It is suggested that the narrowing the gap in retirement service and medical service between rural and urban areas could be an effective way for the government to deal with future retirement issues and provide equalized retirement services for elderly migrant workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2016
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 3 2017


  • Elderlymigrantworkers
  • Personal health consciousness
  • Retirement place
  • Smog consciousness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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