Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Second Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

Third Advisor

Dr. Lucius Hallett IV


Migration, China, geography, urban, hukou

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Chinese internal migrants continue to struggle to obtain social and economic equity in some of China’s largest cities. Shanghai, China’s largest city, houses one of the largest floating populations in the country. As city officials and the Chinese Communist Party continue to spend on urban renewal sites in the city proper, new opportunities may be emerging for migrant workers. These sites contain hundreds on new commercial and service based businesses that could potentially provide stable employment for rural-tourban migrants in Shanghai and influence migrant quality of life as well as provide the means for migrants to remain in the city long-term. This study examined migrant density and prosperity in two urban renewal sites in Shanghai as means of income and activities used by migrant workers to improve the lives of both themselves and their families. Questionnaires and in depth interviews were used to measure life satisfaction for migrants currently employed in service industries in Shanghai’s unique shikumen neighborhoods in order to add to the broad range of research previously conducted on the floating population and their struggles in urban China.