Causes Of Rural Urban Migration

What causes people to move from a rural area to an urban area?

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Generally, people migrate from rural to urban areas for economic/employment opportunities, but the specific reasons can be categorized as either "push" or "pull" factors. Push factors include what makes the people move away from a place—for instance, a lack of jobs or social opportunities. Pull factors, meanwhile, are why people want to come to a place, for reasons such as better job opportunities or easier access to amenities, including education and healthcare. 


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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is no overarching single reason for the migration of people to urban areas. In light of this, let me mentions a few reasons. 

First, if we use China as a test case, we can say that the mass migration of people from rural area to cities is based on governmental incentives. As the central government decided to literally build cities overnight, they needed workers. So, Chinese banks made loans to companies to build the infrastructure of China. These jobs and hopes of a better life created a shift to urban areas. 

Second, if we look at places like New York and London, population increases took place because of the Industrial Revolution. People followed jobs and opportunities. Therefore, people left rural areas to look for more opportunities. 

Third, if we look at how rural areas are hit hard by drought and other forces of nature that limit opportunities, then we can say that part of the pull of cities is that there is little for people in rural areas.

Finally, as cities grow, there is more to do, to see, and to experience. Therefore, there is an allure, which cannot be underestimated.  

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As described above, a set of push (conditions that force an individual to move away) and pull (conditions and opportunities that appeal to individuals) factors determine the migration of people from rural to urban areas. 

In general, migration is related to business and employment opportunities. The agriculture dominant rural economies around the world may not provide sufficient employment to all. In addition, agriculture (in many regions of the world) also suffers from natural disasters such as drought, storms, etc. Smaller land holdings are also unable to compete against more commercialized agriculture of larger holdings. Other push factors may include lack of employment/social/cultural/recreational opportunities. Cities offer many attractions (or pull factors) compared to rural areas. There are more employment opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines and for different skill sets. Social/cultural and recreational activities are also more easily...

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