Determinants of unmet need for contraception among Chinese migrants: A worksite-based survey

Document Type



Population Health (East Africa); Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Background: Considerable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges have been reported among rural-to-urban migrants in China. Predictors thereof are urgently needed to develop targeted interventions.

Study design: A cross-sectional study assessed determinants of unmet need for contraception using semi-structured interviews in two cities in China: Guangzhou and Qingdao.

Results: Between July and September 2008, 4867 female rural-to-urban migrants aged 18-29 years participated in the study. Of these, 2264 were married or cohabiting. Among sexually-active women (n = 2513), unmet need for contraception was reported by 36.8% and 51.2% of respondents in Qingdao and Guangzhou, respectively; it was associated with being unmarried, having no children, less schooling, poor SRH knowledge, working in non-food industry, and not being covered by health insurance. A substantial proportion of unmarried migrants reported they had sexual intercourse (16.6 % in Qingdao and 21.4% in Guangzhou) contrary to current sexual standards in China.

Conclusion: The study emphasises the importance of improving the response to the needs of rural-to-urban migrants and recommends strategies to address the unmet need for contraception. These should enhance open communication on sexuality, increase the availability of condoms, and improve health insurance coverage.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care