Rural-Urban Migration: Definition, Control, Causes & Effects

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What is Rural-Urban Migration?

Rural-urban migration or drift (Urbanization) refers to the movement of people from rural to urban areas, the corresponding decrease in the proportion of people living in rural areas, and the ways in which societies adapt to this change.

Rural-Urban Migration
Rural-Urban Migration

The movement of people from the rural areas to the urban centres.

Causes of Rural-Urban Migration

  • People move in search of better economic opportunities.
  • They move to acquire further formal education.
  • They move to find apprenticeship training opportunities in the cities.
  • Many move to join family, relations and friends.
  • People move to enjoy the products of modernization in the cities such as water., electricity etc.

Economic Consequences of Rural-Urban Drift

  1. It sometimes worsens the unemployment situation in the urban areas because it takes some time for the migrant to get employment.
  2. Resultant population explosion in the urban areas brings about increased demand for schools, hospitals, electricity, water supply, transportation, etc.
  3. It may lead to over concentration of development in the urban centres leading to continued neglect of the rural areas.
  4. It may lead to a drastic reduction in food production since it is the youths who have moved out that are actively involved in agriculture in the rural areas.
  5. There will be an increase in government expenditure for provision of socio-economic infrastructure.
  6. If the labour force is inactive, this may lead to low national income and standard of living and it could fuel inflation in the economy.
  7. It will bring about a reduction in the supply of raw materials for agro-allied industries.

Effects of Rural-Urban Migration

Massive rural-urban migration leads to the following problems:

  1. Over-population and congestion of the cities. Many cities have too many people and have become over-crowded.
  2. Over-stressing of the urban facilities such as schools, hospitals and roads. People are too many for the limited facilities.
  3. A high rate of youth unemployment occurs in large cities.
  4. Widespread crimes such as armed robbery, hard drug pushing and other forms of criminal behaviour are concentrated in big over populated cities.
  5. Many rural areas lose their youthful population to the cities.
  6. Agricultural productivity in the rural areas declines because the young ones have moved to the cities.

Control of Rural-Urban Migration

Rural-urban migration might be controlled In the following ways:

  1. By providing economic opportunies in the rural areas.
  2. By providing social infrastructural famlities such as water supply, electricity supply, schools, hospitals etc.
  3. By modernizing the agricultural sector, thereby increasing farmers income.
  4. By establishing industrial projects in the rural areas, thereby providing for the youth in such areas.
  5. By establishing arms of government departments and financial institutions. This will provide employment opportunities as well as attract some social infrastructure.
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