China has experienced more than two decades of rapid urbanization. Migration from the countryside into cities has been the main driver of urban growth. Rural-urban migration is thus playing an increasingly important role in shaping the economic and demographic landscape of Chinese cities.
The hukou system in China is a household registration system that functions as a domestic passport system to regulate the migration of people, especially from rural to urban areas, and from small cities to large cities. Few other institutions have played a more important role than the hukousystem in defining and prescribing the conditions of social life, politics, and economic development in China.
Luo, Rumin. “Across the institutional passage of migration : Hukou system in China”. InterDisciplines : journal of history and sociology, 2012, 3(1), 120-147. Full text available online.