Why do people migrate from rural areas to cities?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Historically, there have been many reasons that people moved to cities from rural areas, but certainly the most important ones were economic. In England, for example, people moved to cities in response to the enclosure of common lands that had historically allowed them to exist as small land-holding (or renting) peasants. They moved there in search of new ways of making a living. As the Industrial Revolution emerged, people moved to cities for jobs in developing industries. In many places, this resulted in the emergence of new urban areas. Today, jobs remain the most important reason that people settle in cities, but it is also true (as has always been the case) that other factors are important as well. Young people have often moved to cities because they found living in more rural areas to be boring and perhaps confining. The saying "city air breathes free" has described the motives of many people who moved to cities seeking to break away from the constraints of the places they were born. Many found that life in cities was no less confining than the small villages they came from, but the fact remains that the city has always been a draw for many people from rural areas.