Factors influencing the livelihoods of ecological migrants in coal mined-out areas in China

  • Yaozu Xue
  • Lei Huang


The relocation in coal mined-out areas has a significant impact on migrants’ livelihoods. The present research analyses the factors influencing the ecological migrants’ livelihoods by applying the sustainable livelihood framework based on the sample data collected from key state-owned coal mined-out areas. The structural equation model was employed to explore the main influencing factors of ecological migrants’ livelihoods from the human assets, physical assets, natural assets, social assets and financial assets aspect. Empirical findings show that human assets, natural assets and financial assets are positively associated with livelihoods of ecological migrants in coal mined-out area, while physical assets and social assets are positively associated with livelihoods after relocation with a relatively weaker trend. In addition to this, the present study shows that various other factors including education and skill of householder, number of labours, frequency of family members attending the training, household housing area, self-employed business value and relocation compensation funds of migrants are also positively associated with livelihoods of ecological migrants in coal mined-out areas. The results of present appraisal recommend that policy implications should include further enhancing the quality of human assets, encouraging migrants to run self-employed businesses and enriching the cultural and social services for migrants to enhance the livelihoods of ecological migrants of coal mined-out areas.


Coal mined-out area Ecological migrants Influencing factors Livelihood assets 



We thank local governments for providing support for our field work. In addition, we sincerely appreciate the local households who provided valuable data. We also gratefully acknowledge the help of four anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on a previous version of the manuscript.


This research was funded by the Ministry of Education Humanities and Social Sciences Subject of China (Grant No. 16YJCZH131) and the Shanxi Province Philosophy and Social Science Planning Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

All authors have read and approved the final manuscript. The authors have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethics approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center of Transition of Resource-Based EconomicsShanxi University of Finance and EconomicsTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of EconomicsShanxi University of Finance and EconomicsTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China

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