The Uighurs are linguistically and culturally distinct from the Han Chinese majority, and they have a strong sense of identity, often associated with a violent resistance against China’s central government and with conflictual relationships with the Han living in Xinjiang. Despite Xinjiang’s development over the past decades, especially after the implementation of the Great Western Development Program by the Chinese central government, the region still lags behind the country’s economically developed eastern regions due to various historical, environmental and social reasons. This program did not contribute much to regional equality, economic efficiency or improving inter-ethnic relations. The side effects of national development strategy including massive Han in-migration and environmental degradation exacerbated ethnic tensions and strengthened nationalist tendencies among the Uighurs. Yet, to investigate recent changes in social mobility of Uighur population is of great importance. Based on the publicly released 2000 and 2010 censuses data, this paper assesses the changes in Uighur population with respect to education, occupational status and internal migration in a comparative perspective through calculating population concentration indexes and location quotients.