Impacts of Female Out-Migration on Ethnic Korean Communities in China


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants




China’s ethnic Korean minority in Yanbian Prefecture, Jilin, is caught up in a migration with disastrous demographic results. Many Asian countries have high male birthrates; China alone reported 32 million ‘extra’ young men in 2011. South Korea has eased their ‘marriage squeeze’ by encouraging women from Yanbian to migrate for marriage. This has brought major challenges to Yanbian, skewing local sex ratios and causing fertility to decline. But migrants send remittances reliably. The departure of young women thus imperils the reproductive future of Yanbian while offering immediate economic benefits to migrants and their families. As China begins promoting marriage migration in response to its own sex imbalance, this research asks how out-bound female migration impacts sending communities.