Household livelihood strategies are embedded in the natural and socioeconomic contexts in which people live. Analyzing the factors that influence household livelihood choice and defining their consequences can be beneficial for informing rural household policies. In turn, this has great significance for fostering sustainable livelihood strategies. We grouped household livelihood strategies based on the income distribution of 756 households and analyzed their influencing factors and possible livelihood consequences in the watershed of Miyun Reservoir, the only source of surface water currently available for domestic use in Beijing, China. Local farmers’ livelihood strategies can be grouped into three types: farming, local off-farm, and labor-migrant. Farming households have the lowest livelihood capitals, other than natural capital, compared with labor-migrant households and off-farm households, the latter having better livelihood capital status. Geographical location, natural capital, household structure, labor quality, and ecological policies are the main factors affecting farmers’ choice of livelihood strategy. Local off-farm households have a significantly lower dependency on firewood, land resources, and investment than that of farming and labor-migrant households, and have the highest reliance on fossil fuel. This household classification can help us understand the livelihood characteristics, impact factors, and consequences of different types of household strategies, which also suggest tailored policy and management options to promote sustainable livelihoods based on different household types.
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