Understanding the vulnerability of migrants in Shanghai to typhoons

Ming Zhu Wang*, Marco Amati, Frank Thomalla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


China has experienced considerable migration from inland to coastal areas since the reforms of 1978, with migrants becoming an important population in many coastal cities. Compared with non-migrants (long-term residents), migrant vulnerability to typhoons is considered high due to limited access to job opportunities, social security, information, and other resources; however, there is no research on vulnerability of this population sector to natural hazards. This initial study analysed the perceptions and personal experiences of migrants living in Shanghai of typhoon hazards. During May 2010, empirical data were collected using an online questionnaire and face-face interviews. Response data indicated that risk knowledge of migrants was significantly lower than among non- migrants; differing risk perceptions between the groups were consistent with levels of personal typhoon experience; statistically significant differences in hazard knowledge within the sample also related to education and occupation; a variety of strategies to cope with typhoon hazards was being applied by residential committees; and that migrants were not generally recognised as a vulnerable group requiring special consideration in hazard risk management. To reduce the vulnerability of migrants to typhoons, we recommend expanding the range of accessible communication technologies distributing warning information; organising more educational and training programmes, at government and corporate level, to increase community awareness of natural hazards; encouraging local residential committees to promote social networks and engagement for migrants; and providing corporate incentives to develop insurances specifically for migrant needs. Further research is necessary to assess the differences in vulnerability between different types of migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1210
Number of pages22
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


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