Based on a large-scale household survey conducted in Nanjing in 2005, this study aims to provide a better understanding of poverty incidence in a contemporary Chinese city, as well as poverty concentration in different social groups. This study reveals a much higher and more realistic poverty incidence among working urban residents, unemployed/laid-off urban residents and rural migrants than the official statistics suggest. To understand poverty concentration in different social groups, the 1370 cases are classified into various categories by hukou status, number of unemployed family members, age, educational attainment and occupation of the head of the household as well as housing tenure. These groups are further categorized into urban households without unemployed, urban households with unemployed, and rural migrants. We compared three types of poverty measures (i.e. FGT indices, the sense of deprivation, and MLSS coverage rate), are compared across different social groups to show different patterns of poverty concentration, in particular the variation in three types of households. This study has multiple policy implications for alleviating poverty in urban China. First, it identifies a huge gap in the existing social safety net. Second, it recognizes several social groups that endure multiple disadvantages and several groups that are unprotected by a social safety net. Third, it confirms the enduring and widening urban–rural division, and suggests that rural migrants remain outside the urban society in terms of both living conditions and social welfare provision.
Read the id21 Research Highlight:
Urban poverty in China is on the increase
Cities, Volume 25, Issue 3, 121-132, [doi:10.1016/j.cities.2008.02.001]