As the fastest developing country, China has been experiencing rapid urbanisation since the economic reform and the land reform. Over the past two decades, the massive migration from rural to urban areas has greatly contributed to the growing level of urbanisation at an unprecedented speed. This has resulted in the demand for understanding the spatial and temporal patterns and processes of migrant flows occurring in this long period.A particular focus is given on understanding the dynamics of the inter-provincial mobility, which is less paid attention in the published literature on Chinese case studies. An effective, efficient and better methodology for providing quantitative evidences needs to be developed. This paper aims to explore such dynamics of migrants' flows by using a complied panel data set for the period 1985-2010, exploratory indicators of measuring flow pattern, GIS pattern analysis and dynamic panel data model. The long-term effects of dominant factors and spatial effects have been statistically examined. We argue that spatial heterogeneity and dynamics should be taken into account when modeling inter-provincial mobility in a long period.