Destination, selection and turnover among Chinese migrants to Philippine cities in the nineteenth century

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Abstract

D. F. Doeppers

Journal of Historical Geography

Journal Article

Volume:

12

Issue:

4

Pages:

381-401

1986

Chinese, patterns, immigrants, communities

An investigation of large numbers of individual Chinese immigrants in nineteenth-century Philippine cities reveals that the flow of migrants was strongly biased by river basin and rural marketing system of origin in China and by emergent regional economy (sugar versus non-sugar) in the Philippines. The revealed patterns tend to confirm Skinner's formulations on the nature of functional regions in pre-modern China. Most of the immigrants were males, and many were sojourners who planned to return to China both periodically and on retirement. This characteristic led to the maintenance of highly localized chains of migration over long periods of time and also to high rates of turnover within local Chinese communities in the Philippines. Turnover was highest among recent arrivals and lowest among business license holders and longer-term local residents in general.

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