The Chinese Triangle of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong: Comparative Institutional Analyses

By Alvin Y. So; Nan Lin et al. | Go to book overview

15

RETURN MIGRATION AMONG CHINESE IMMIGRANTS IN TORONTO

Kumiko Shibuya, EricFong, Ming-Long Lam, and Clement So


INTRODUCTION

Immigration from Asia has surged to historically high levels in all major receiving countries, such as the United States and Canada. About 40 percent of new immigrants arriving in the United States and Canada in the 1980s and 1990s were from Asian countries (Farley 1996; Badets and Chui 1994).

Although large numbers of Asian immigrants have arrived in these countries, recent studies suggest that the return migration rates of Asian immigrants of these countries are substantial. Based on Jasso and Rosenzweig's (1982) estimation, the cumulative emigration rate for the 1971 cohort of Korean immigrants who left the United States was about 50 percent in the following eight years. Similarly, a government report in Hong Kong, another major sending area in Asia, estimated that 12 percent of those who left Hong Kong between 1982 and 1992 have returned (Tang 1991). Given the speed of economic growth in Asia, the growing interdependence of countries, and the advancement in technology, Asian immigrants in North America may well be increasingly induced to move back to Asia.

However, most studies on the immigration of Asians to North America have seemed to be preoccupied with the patterns of permanent settlement and the adjustment process of the immigrants (Light 1972; Nee and Sanders 1988; Zhou 1992). Only a limited number of studies have been devoted to the understanding of the patterns of return migration among Asian immigrants, and most of those studies have been descriptive in nature (Skeldon 1994, 1995).

With the increasing rate of return migration among Asian immigrants in North America, there is a real need for a systematic, causal analysis that endeavors to understand the characteristics of the return migrants and the factors that affect their decision to return. The study that we report in this chapter

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