Improving people’s livelihood resilience against risks and challenges plays an important role in consolidating the achievements of poverty reduction. The paper uses 64 poverty-stricken counties in China’s Sichuan province as the study area and explores the link between spatial segregation and human capital. The results show that the proximity (spatial segregation) is significantly and negatively associated with people’s educational attainment and their acquisition of non-farming employment. Residents in villages which are distant from the county center tend to obtain less educational opportunities and are less likely to engage in non-farming jobs than those who are close to the county center. The mediating effect analysis indicates that remoteness mainly reduces the propensity of getting non-farming jobs by reducing the human capital of rural residents. Further analysis shows that the association between proximity, human capital and the probability of acquiring non-farming work is higher in areas with lower economic level and less developed transportation infrastructure. Policy implications for improving people’s livelihood resilience in impoverished areas are proposed in the paper.

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