Uncovering the "Black Children" -- an Analysis of Infant Household Registration Status in China

Yingying Zhou, University of Washington
William Lavely, University of Washington

"Black children" in China refers specifically to children, who are not registered in the national household registration system. They lack legitimacy and basic rights, such as access to medical care, education, and even employment. Hidden from the state system, they suffer from severe personal well being. To enhance our current limited understanding of these marginalized children, this paper, using Chinese 1990 census 1% sample data, examines the determinants of un-registration of infants under 18 months old. It is estimated that un-registration can be caused by out-of-plan births, migration status, or simply mal-practice of the local registration administration. In examining sets of child, maternal and community characteristics, it is identified that the migration status of the mother, and residential type of the community (rural or urban) are the key determinants of infant registration status. The result sheds light to policy implications in terms of reforming the registration practice to secure child well being.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children