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Population growth in an urban area which outstrips its job market and the capacity of its infrastructure; ‘urbanization without industrialization’ (M. Davis2006). In 1988, 100 000 migrants from mainland China flooded into Hainan. The provincial government was swamped by more than 180 000 applications for only 30 000 jobs, with the result that those unable to find work turned to street hawking. Meanwhile, in-migrating peasant workers congregated in sprawling urban ‘village’ settlements that lacked basic amenities. The infrastructure of urban centres in Hainan sagged under these immense pressures (Gu and Wall (2007) Sing. J. Trop. Geog. 28, 2).

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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