The Cause and Consequences of Rural Urban Migration

The Case of Wolatia Soddo Town, SNNPR Ethiopia

Master's Thesis, 2015

99 Pages


Table of Contents






1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Objective of study
1.4 Research Question
1.5 Significance of the Study
1.6 Limitation and Delimitation of the Study
1.7 Scope of the study
1.8 Definitions of Key Terminologies and Key Concepts
1.9. Organization of the Paper

2.1 Theoretical Framework
2.2. The Empirical Framework
2.3. Conceptual Framework

Chapter Three
3. Research Methodology
3.1. Description of the Study Area
3.2. Research Strategy and Design
3.3. Data Type and Source
3.4. Sampling Methods
3.5. Data Processing and Analysis

4. The Process of Migration, the Characteristics of Migrants and Causes of Migration to Wolaita Soddo Town
4.1. The Overall Process of Migration
4.2. The Characteristics of Migrants
4.3. The Socio-Economic Characteristics of Migrants
4.4. The Causes for Migration

5.1. Problems Encountered by Migrants while adjusting themselves to the New Environment ( Wolaita Soddo Town)
5.2. Current Occupational Status, Educational and Income Level of Migrants
5.3. Access of Migrants to Housing Facilities and Amenities
5.4 Access of Migrants to Water and Electricity Services
5.5. Ownership of Durable Consumer Items
5.6. A Comparison of the Socio-Economic Condition of Migrants before and After Migration
5.7. Current Problems of Migrants and Their Future Plan of Migration

6. Conclusion and Recommendation
6.1. Summary
6.2 Conclusion
6.3. Recommendations


Appendix I
Appendix II


In developing countries like Ethiopia rural-urban migration affects socio –economic realities in both urban and rural areas. This study aims at identifying the major causes and consequences of the movement of people from rural to urban areas. To achieve the objective 282 migrant household heads were selected purposively from four Kebeles of the town. Both primary and secondary data were employed and were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively by using SPSS version 17th.

Structured questionnaires and FGD were used on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of migrant households.

Most of the migrants move to the town alone. They had some information about the town and the decision of their migration is mostly made by themselves.

However, most of them migrated decide to migrate not in planned way. A greater number of the migrants are young adults, males, and unmarried and had some form of education before they decided to migrate.

There are many causes for the movement of the people to the town. Among them the search for job, to gain education and training, and problem related with land and agricultural productivity was the major one. Many of the migrants encountered problems at the initial period of adjustment and adaptation and even currently.

In line with this, some useful points of recommendations for effective urban management and rural development activities are suggested.

Key words: Migration, Rural Urban Migration, Migrants


The successful completion of this thesis would not have been possible without the support, encouragement and cooperation from many individuals who assist me in diverse ways from the beginning to the end.

First of all, my hearty thanks go to Almighty God for His blessing-full knowledge, inspiration and diligence required for the successful completion of this Thesis and for making my dream a reality.

Next, I would like to express my heartfelt and sincere gratitude to my Principal Advisor

Kahsu Mebrathu (Assistant Professor) for diligent paternal and professional assistance and dedication of his precious time in reading and correcting this research from commencement to the end.

My appreciation also goes to my co-advisor Mebrat Aregawi (MBA, Lecturer) for her invaluable support and constructive comments.

Last but not least, my heart-felt thanks goes to my wife Mimiye and my children Omode and Egoroo, who in one way or the other shared my pains in the course of the preparation of research work.


Table 1 Distribution of Sample Migrant Households

Table 2: Distribution of Migrants by Year of Last Arrival in Wolaita Soddo

Table 3: Distribution of the Migrants Accompaniment from the Birth Place by Sex

Table 4: Migration Decision as Reported by the Respondents

Table 5: Percentage Distributions of Migrants by Sources of Information

Table 6: The Population Composition of Migrants Based On Sex and Age before Arrival to Wolaita Soddo

Table 7: Distributions of migrants by Sex and Marital Status at Time of Migration

Table 8: The Availability of Relatives, Friends or Parents, Assistance For Migrants and Type of Assistant

Table 9: Current Occupational Status and the Nature of Employment of Migrants

Table 10: Educational Attainment of Migrant’s before and after Arrival of Migrants to Wolaita Soddo

Table 11: Distribution of Migrants by Monthly Average Income

Table 12: Accesses to Housing Facilities

Table 13: Sources of Water Supply and Electricity

Table 14: Distributions of Households by Ownership of Durable Consumer Items

Table 15: Comparison of Socio-economic Condition of Migrants before and after Migration

Table 16: Distributions of Migrants by Current Problems and Future Plan of migration


Figure 1 .Conceptual Frame Work of Rural Urban Migration

Figure 2 Map of the Study Area

Figure 3 Adminisrative Map Of Wolaita Zone

Figure 4. The Number of Migrants to Wolaita Soddo Town by Sex

Figure 5 The Availability of Relative, Friend Or Parents Before You Moved To Live In Wolaita Soddo

Figure 6: After the Migrants Move to Wolaita Soddo Person Who Join Him/her From the Place of Birth

Figure 7: Distributions of Migrants by Educational Attainment before Migration by Sex

Figure 8: Occupational Statuses of Respondents before Migration at Place of Origin

Figure 9: Causes of Migration by Sex

Figure 10: Problems faced by Migrants during the Initial Period of In-migration to Wolaita Soddo


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten



1.1 Background of the study

Since Homo erectus left Africa over a million years ago, the constant transfer of people between different countries were not halted. Migration has been a key human response to environmental, social, political, and economic changes (Hall,, 2010). Since the creation of the state at about 3500 B.C, the mobility continued with different magnitude and nature.

Population dynamics happens over time and spaces on the population .The very reasons for the happening of change of Population size, composition and distribution are migration, fertility and mortality .Particularly, migration has a direct effect on the geographic distribution of population. Also it has direct link with other demographic forces as well as other aspects of social and economic changes. (Gimba 2010)

The causes for the migration is economic and none –economic. However, wide spread agreement now exists among social sciences researchers, that rural urban migration can be explained primarily as the result of economic factor .This include not only the push from the subsistence agriculture and pull of relatively high urban wages but also the potential push back towards rural areas as the result of high urban unemployment.. (Adepoju, 2008)

The rate of urbanization in developing nations has increased in alarming rate. The cause for the process of urbanization has in the developed Western state and developing countries has differed greatly. The underlying factor in the case of the former was industrialization but rural-urban migration due to population presser on the rural land for the latter group (Kassahun, 2000, ILO, 2012). Thus in view of the high rates of urban population growth and the low level of urbanization, rural to urban migration appears to have been the major component of urban population growth in many developing countries.

In different parts of African migration is considered as a means to escape economic, social, political problems and challenges – it is a survival strategy (Sandar, 2005). The reason varies from not conducive geographical environment in Mail to that of severs poverty (Sandar, 2003). Landlessness, fragmented, unproductive land holdings and poor income compel rural exodus in most of SSA. (Sandar, 2005 ).

Ethiopia is faced by different migration patterns and dynamics, which have significant political and socio-economic a complex consequences of action for the country (IOM ,2008) , Over time, the share of the Ethiopian population that has migrated from outside their Woreda of current residence has increased from 11.4 percent of the population (4.54 million people) in 1984 to 12.9 percent of the population in 1994 (6.92 million people) to 16.5 percent of the population (12.21 million people) in 2008 (Dorosh and Getnet 2011 )

In the entire three national census, according to the CSA, more than 50 % of the population were not migrated from rural areas to that of urban but from rural to rural. However, the figure of the rural-rural becomes decreased slowly but surely from 56 to 49 to 47 percent in the period of the three censuses. On the other side, the rural urban migrants, on the same periods , increase from 1.30 million people in 1984 to 3.26 million in 1998, but the divided up of rural urban migration in the overall population is still insignificant , increase from 3.3 % in 1984 to only 4.4 % in 1998

Internal migration with its changing constituents of migrants become on the increase in Ethiopia. Rural out flow is become smaller, whereas urban rural migration declining the most. According to the 2007 national censuses only 16.2 percent were migrants from 73.92 million people who live in cities. This has show that there is narrow and small rural urban- migration. The level of urbanization in the most populated regions – Amhara, SNNPR, Oromeiy – has only 11.8 percent which indicts the low level of rural urban migration (Dorosh and Getnet 2011).

The Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) is one of the region in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). According to the third national censuses 2007, the total of population of the region was 14,929,548, from which 7,425,918 were male and 7,503,630 were female (SNNPR, 2007; CSA, 2007) from the stated total population 2,075,332 were migrants , 995,997 male and 1,079,335 female respectively .The percent of migrant population in the region was 13.9 .The region’s population accounts 20% of the total population of the country, which makes it the third populous region in the country next to Oromia and Amhara federal states. According to a recent estimate, about 8 percent of the total population of the region is residing in urban areas while the bulk of the populations (92 percent) are living in rural areas (CSA, 2007).

Like other parts of the country, movement of people across regional and zonal boundaries is historically a common phenomenon where influx of people migrates to small and big towns due to economic and other non-economic reasons. The phenomenon of migration carries several economic, social, and cultural problems in the region ( Alemante &, 2006 ). The exodus of people from rural to urban centers has becoming serious problems of most small and growing urban areas in the region.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The role of rural urban migration in poverty reduction is a bone of contention in Ethiopia. Recently, the Ethiopian government recognized the potential role of urban areas in the contributions of national economic growth and poverty reduction need to connect wealth and development potential of rural to urban linkage and of laborer mobility between rural and urban areas. People mobility from rural to urban areas has been considered as, one of the problems for the achieving of the development efforts of the cities . At the same time, the Ethiopian government is concerned that rural urban migration makes it more challenging to improved welfare for urban residents, especially in the provision of housing, employment and public service. Hence there is evidence on how rural urban migration affects urban poverty along different dimensions in order to guide the government efforts to improve the living conditions in cities (MoFED 2009).

Ethiopia has a mixed history of internal migration and population distribution. In previous decades, migration was shaped by political and economic transitions and instability. Political ideals transformed from the 1970‘s to current day (socialist to a market-oriented economy), as well as civil war and famine determined flow and direction of internal migration (Mberu, 2006; Kiros and White 2004).

Over time, the share of the Ethiopian population that has migrated from outside their Woreda of current residence has increased from 11.4 percent of the population (4.54 million people) in 1984 to 12.9 percent of the population in 1994 (6.92 million people) to 16.5 percent of the population (12.21 million people) in 2008. Most of this migration, surprisingly, is not rural-urban migration. About half of all migrants are rural to rural migrants, though the share of rural-rural migrants in the total number of migrants has gradually declined from 56 to 49 to 47 percent across the three population census years. Rural to urban migration over the same period has risen from 1.30 million people in 1984 to 3.26 million in 1998, but the share of rural-urban migrants in total population is still small, having risen from 3.3 percent in 1984 to only 4.4 percent in 1998( Dorosh and Getnet ,2011 ). .

While the total number of internal migrants in Ethiopia is growing, interesting changes are taking place in their composition. Rural out-migration is on the rise. Urban out-migration is declining, with urban-rural migration decreasing the most. Only 16.2 percent of the 73.92 million people of the country lived in urban centers in the year 2007 according to the census, indicating that there is limited and low-level rural-urban migration. The level of urbanization in the three most populous regional states, which account for 80.4 percent of the total population of the country, is only 11.8 percent, which further reveals low rural-urban migration ( Dorosh and Getnet ,2011 ). .

In Ethiopia, much had not been done to study Cause and Consequences of Rural Urban Migration. From the available limited literature on the subject a few have attempted to study these aspects of urban-ward migration such as Shack (1973) in Addis Ababa, Bjeren (1985) in Shashemene, Kebede (1991) in Nazareth, Birru (1997) in Arbaminch etc. Some of these studies are from the anthropological point of view and concentrated on Addis Ababa and the nearby towns.

Although actual data is scanty, it is believed that Wolaita Soddo town received a large migrant population each year. Wolaita Soddo town faced a series of problems due to rapid population growth. Based on the first, second , third national censuses and the unpublished documents of Municipality(2012) of the town the population size of the study area increase from time to time : in 1967 /-- 10.842, in 1975--- 19.414, in 1984--- 24.278( the First National Censuses) , in 1994--- 36.287( the Second National Censuses) in 2007 ---76,050 from which 43,639 were migrants ( the Third National Censuses) and in 2018, after five years, the population estimated reached 1,27397 – based on the projection of 2007 censuses (Wolaita Zone FEDD, 2013).Such high influx of population has its own effects on the areas of departure and destination on the regard of social, economic, environmental, cultural and political.

This indicates that the town experiencing a high number of in-migration mainly from Woalita Zone and nearby Zones. The researcher had very much familiar with research areas from his childhood. In connection to this, at the present time the town faced serious of problem within and around due to high population pressure. For instance some of the main problems in the eyes of the researcher are environmental pollution, natural resources degradation , overcrowdings, social unrest (theft, crime, and pick pocket), high living cost and poor urban amenities.

In order to minimized rural urban migration different mechanisms from integral rural urban development to that of resettlement projects had been taken by different countries. However, the success of the mechanisms is under great question. Migration is an inevitable and irreversible process and integral part of development. Most of the policies and programs to halt the rural urban migration had not accomplished. So, for the effective urban management and the formulation, adaptation and implementation efficient rural development policies the topic of the research has put it on crucial contributions.

Such observation and the existing situation made the researcher inspired and to explore the situation and identify the causes, and consequences of rural urban migration to Wolaita Soddo town .So that, this study provides much information and then make recommendation on the cause and effects of rural urban migration towards the town and why people choose the town to relocate their residence either temporarily or permentally ? What pull/push factors are responsible? Etc will be some of the question will be raised by the researcher. And the research findings will be contributing its own part in the knowledge gap of the topic under discussion – the causes and consequences of rural urban migration.

1.3 Objective of study

1.3.1 General objective

The general objective of the research is to assess the causes and consequences of rural urban migration to Wolaita Soddo town.

1.3.2 Specific objectives

Based on the general objective of the study the specific objectives of the research are:

- To investigate the major drivers of rural urban migration ,
- To analyzed the socio- economic and socio –demographic characteristics of the migrants; regarding to income, employment, education, family size, age, sex, marital status,
- To explorethe challenges faced by migrants at early stage of arrival to the town of Wolaita Soddo,
- To assess the consequences of in-migration particularly on housing, employment and social conditions and other facilities and amenities in the study area.

1.4 Research Question

With regard to research inquiry, the research question included:

1. What are the major drivers to migrate from rural areas to Wolaita Soddo town?
2. What are the socio –economic and socio demographic profile of the migrants?
3. What are the problems the migrants faced during their arrival in the town?
4. What are the consequences of in-migration particularly on housing, employment and social conditions and other facilities and amenities in the study area?

1.5 Significance of the Study

According to INSTAAR(2007), studying the migration of human give us knowledge of the development of human civilization , show us the pattern of human existences , help us understanding of complex economic system, and it might even give us a way to ensure the future survival of the human race . In Ethiopia, different factors enforce the study of issues of migration and these enforcing factors become one of the significance of the study. First and most, Ethiopia is largely a rural and agrarian society. And the rate of urbanization is very low in relative to SSA- an average of 36 percent -, (World Bank, 2009), and only 17 percent of its population lives in urban areas. Hence to understand the future population shift can speculate where will be the future hot spots to inform government where resources should be diverted to accommodate growing population. Second, in rural Ethiopia migration has been used as means to diversifications mechanisms. And also serve as a livelihood strategy, means to increases income and relived own food scarcity constraints. Such information can serve as base to social protections programmers. Third, the lack of available land constrains productivity. Households expand over time, and yet allotment of land is fixed and continues to be divided between household members posing productivity constraints on generations to come. The rural out-migration of household members can alleviate the constraints on productivity posed by land scarcity. ( Dorosh, Getnet and ,2011)

The study is mainly concerned with the causes, and consequences of rural urban migration. It gives responses to the question related to ‘what’,’why’,’who’ ‘how’ in relation to rural –urban migration. The findings of the study will serve as base for other planners, policy makers, and public administers and developmentalist in local and regional areas.

The overall consideration of the significance of the study will be summarized in the following statements.

- Fill the gap in the literature in the areas of Rural Urban Migration ,
- It become not a primary but a secondary source of information for researchers , academicians and practitioners,
- Serve as guiding documents for policy makers for the adaption, formulation and implementation of a genuine rural development strategies , efficant urban management , migration policy,
- Give insight for the town administrators about the existing and emerging socio-economic challenge of the migrantsin relation with the socio-economic services provided by the town administration

1.6 Limitation and Delimitation of the Study

The topic of migration is an immense area of systematic investigation and needs an ample devotion of time and attention to acquire knowledge .So many scholars and academicians attempts to deal with the topic and forwarded their own contribution in varies school of thoughts . Some of the limitation of the study were : shortage of time, restricted geographical coverage, limitation of variables in extant, number or scope and exclusion of newly arrived migrants; those who live in the study town only for one year hence they may further leave the town or go back to the departure places.

1.7 Scope of the study

The study has been geared to those migrants from Wolaita Zone and other surrounding zones and regions to Wolaita Soddo town. This research will explore “push factors” of rural areas and “pull factors” of Wolaita Soddo town.

1.8 Definitions of Key Terminologies and Key Concepts

- Areas of destination /arrival are a place to which the migrants change place of residences and arrived to the new one.
- Areas of origin/departure is a place from which the migrant departed
- Internal migration is the movement of people from one place to another, within the boundary of a state of which they are citizens, in order to take up employment or establish residence for a minimum of six months. Movement of internal migrants includes rural to rural, rural to urban, urban to urban, as well as urban to rural flows. The migration duration can be both short and long term. (Siddisui 2012 ; United Nation 2013)
- Kebele is the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia.
- Migrants People who were born outside Soddo but presently live in Soddo. They could be classified by place of birth (rural/urban).

- Migration: - is a form of geographic mobility between one geographical unit and another generally involving a change of residence from the place of departure to the place of destination (UN, 1982). Movement of people within the country is termed as internal migration. Those who have resided in the area of enumeration continuously since birth are non-migrants. Those who, in the course of their lives, have lived elsewhere other than in the area of enumeration constitute the migrants. ( ISPS 2012)

- In-migration:- to move into or come to live in a region or community
- Rural-urban Migrant is a someone who moves fromhis/her usual location of dwellings from a rural to an urban area.
- Urban area is a place people were established a community with the number of 2000 and engaged in the economic aspects of secondary and tertiary
- Wereda is the administrative unit next higher to kebele.

1.9. Organization of the Paper

This research has consists of six chapters.

Chapter 1 deals with introductory part, where an account of background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitation of the study and organization of the study is made.

Chapter 2 covers the literature review part in which case both theoretical and empirical review is covered which is related to urban rural migration.

Chapter 3 covers the methodology section, types and source of data, target population, data collection, Sampling design and procedures, and methods of data analysis.

Chapter 4 and 5 provides with the result and associate discussions obtained from the questionnaire and FGD of the study area.

Chapter 6 In light of the findings and results obtained through qualitative and quantitative data’s, this chapter provides conclusions and recommendations of the study, references used in the study, questionnaire and FGD guide had also attach here with at the appendix part.



2.1 Theoretical Framework

The causes and consequences of migration have been treated and examined by different discipline. Many scholars have forwarded theoretical and empirical thought on the issues of distinctiveness, factors and effects of migration on domestics and global level. Various theories , models and laws will be appraised within the realm of developing countries in general and Ethiopia in particular.

2.1.1 Ravenstein’s Laws of Migration

Earnst Georg Ravenstein was painstaking as the beginners on discipline of migration, and developed the law of migration. His work becomes the foundation for the subsequent years in the modern study of migration. The law lays down migration generalizations sweeping statements (Rhoda, 1979) and the uniqueness of migrants, their initiation /motives and causes of migration (Barke and O'Hare: Ibid; Hornby and Jones 1993). The law of migration of Earnest Georg Ravenstein has eleven components:

1. The majority of migrants go only a short distance,
2. Migration proceeds step by step,
3. Migrants going long distances generally go by preference to one of the great centers of commerce or industry,
4. Each current of migration produces a compensating counter current,
5. Females are more migratory than males within the Kingdom of their birth, but males more frequently venture beyond,
6. Most migrants are adults: families rarely migrate out of their county of birth,
7. Large towns grow more by migration than by natural increase,
8. Migration increases in volume as industries and commerce develop and transport improve,
9. The major direction of migration is from the agricultural areas to the centers of industry and commerce,
10. The major causes of migration are economic ,
11. The natives of towns are less migratory than those of rural areas. In wide ranging, even if the laws were formulated in context of 19th century Brittan, some laws were applicable but the others were not (Barke and O'Hare, 1991). Ravenstein law of migration has been adopted and used by many scholars in the areas of migration and the causes and individual intention for migration related with economic factors, off-putting pressures of distances, and the feminization of migration has its own empirical gear in different migration literature. (Ibid, ).

2.1.2. Lee’s Theory of Migration

The push pull notion directly implied with the reason of migration. Accordingly, the personal initiation to choose migration linked with either by`` pull ``factors or ``push ``factors. ``push ``factors are a negative reinforcement to leave the home land at individual level or family level. A good examples in point are low productivity, land scarcity joblessness .Whereas `` pull ``factors are the magnetizing of destinations /city /. For example, relatively high and consistence wage, job access and better provision of social and economic services (Gmelch and Zenner, 1996; Broadly and Cunningham, 1994).

According to Lee, one of the proponents of the theory of migration in 1960s, there are four main factors in the act of migration: characteristics of the origins, characteristics of the destination, nature of intervening obstacles and nature of the people. He proposed a wider presentation on the concept of pull-push (Lee, 1960). He also forwarded that the place of departure-origin- as well destination has as good climate to attract and bad climate to repulse and zero effects on the migrants (Ibid, 1960). On the motive of the decision of migration the factors associated with departure areas overweighed the destination areas, and also related by personal factors to make possible or hold back to migrate (Ibid, 1960). The closing point in Lee’s theory of migration was the concept of “intervening obstacles” in connection between place of origin and destination.

2.1.3 Sjaastad’s Human Investment Theory

Sjaastad developed the theory of migration in 1962. The key concepts in his theory were ones action for reaching on the migration related with the intention of cost and its return after some period of time. The expectation of the migrants and what he/she gets consists of money oriented or not in relation to its original departure areas. The expense related with money included the overall cost of the migrants from his/her origin to that of destination expect the psychological gain or lose which is connected to the non-financial aspects.

2.1.4 Harris-Todaro Model of Migration

Todaro (1969) and Harris-Todaro (1970) put their own feet print in the literature of migration. In the mid –of 20th century the hot debate in the realm of economic school of thought about the under development of less developed countries were population booming in country side and absences of industrialization in town. The debate only exists for short period of time hence the level of inequality and poverty remaining the same when the GNP increases .Even more the rural urban migration was considered as one factor for the under development of the LDCS. Todaro (1969) and Harris-Todaro (1970) model justified that the condition and level of urban unemployment.

The key ideas of the models were /are

1. Rural urban migration is related with an economic aspects
2. The rise of job opportunity in cities mean the rise of urban joblessness in town and even more reduced national product i.e. Todaro contradiction ,
3. Migration considered as tuning means of workers in the labor markets in country side or cities in order to increase the income ,
4. The very reason to reach on decision to leave the place of origin by the migrants is the possibility of unemployment in the destination areas.

2.1.5 New Economies Models of Rural-urban Migration

Recent models of internal migration, called New Economies of Migration, adopt a complete change in perspective as they do not pretend to explain urban employment as presented by Harris-Todaro (Katz and Stark, 1986 cited in Lall, et. al, 2006). According to this model, migration takes place in a world of imperfect information that can account for the sorting of migrants according to their skills. The key assumption is that information about skills does not flow freely across labour markets. Sometimes, the employer in the origin can have better information on workers’ productivity than employers’ in the destination. In this situation, skilled workers may not find it beneficial to migrate. This is because skilled workers would be paid a lower wage in the destination than in the origin, where their skills are recognized.

Others have focused on alternative motivations to migrate which can contradict the view that the expected income differentials between rural areas and urban areas necessarily have to be positive in order to induce migration.

Furthermore, rural-urban migration is job related in its nature. Therefore, it is natural to study migration as job-search framework. According to Vishwanathan (1991, cited in Lall, et. al, 2006), the models have three options involving different information flows and search: i) stay in the rural areas, ii) engage in rural-based search for an urban job, iii) move to the city and engage in urban based search.

2.2. The Empirical Framework

Despite divergence on the theories of rural-urban migration, the tide is still happening in many developing countries. In this sub-section some of the common causes and consequences of rural-urban migration observed are outlined in light of empirical findings in different literature.

2.2.1 Causes of Migration

The persons choice to migrate from his origin/rural to that of destination / cities determined on different border reasons. Knowing of the reasons of migration from the rural to urban areas become the areas of interest by different social sciences disciplines (McGee, 1974 Bilsborrow, 1984). The reason for migration and selection of the destination areas appraisal become more multifaceted hence the pattern , idea, kind ; the nature and course varies from time to time , from place to place and from person to person ( UN 1984 , Jansen 1970) .

Most of the research works in the causes of migration revealed that the ``push`` or ``pull`` factors become more underlying one; and directly link with economic and non-economic aspects of the migrants. The circumstances that obliged the migrants to leave his/her origin of residences considered as push factors like conflict, famine, crop failure due to some reasons and others . The push factors were/are the more predominated than pull factor in developing countries as reason for migration. The economic base of rural areas solely depended on the agriculture, when the productivity of land declines and the environment not conducive for maintains of the livelihood of the peasants which enforces to depart from rural residences to the cities.

The issues of the practical implementation of the principles of democracy become one of driving force for increments of rural urban exodus. The lack or absences of good governance and the principles of democracy may pave the way for rural residences to feel unconfident and enforced to migrate. Such kind of political reasons become one of the reason to rural urban migration in most of developing nations (Aklilu and Tadesse, 1993).

According to 1999 Labor Force Survey of the CSA of Ethiopia, the most important reason for migration were : migration along with the family , search for the work , marriage arrangement and return back home become reasons orderly .

Main reason for migration shows variation between men and women. As expected marriage arrangement is the second main reason for migration among female, while it is not important at all among men. For men education is the main reason for migration. According to Ezra and Tesfaye in 2011 and 2007 respectively push factors more overweighed than pull factors in Ethiopia as driving force of rural out migration.

In most of SSA the decline of agricultural productivity, joblessness and high lode of farming activities drifted rural population from their residences to cities in the search of better living standard and living condition.

Recurrent conflict in hinterland areas , shortage of land due to overpopulation , hostile land holding nature , inappropriate government agrarian polices and regulation , natural resources and ecological degradation which resulting in frequent depravation and scarcity of food (famine and drought) more than enough to press on , as single and concurrent driving factors of migration , from rural to urban areas ( Kebede, 1994 ).

A pull factor is impressive relating to the place a person migrates to. It is by and large a good thing that attracts people to a certain place. Some scholars stated it as to the young’s ‘Bright lights' syndrome – the move of young /rural youth from rural areas in seeking of better opportunity in cities. High possibility of access to employment , enhanced way of life , adequate provisions of social serves- medication, education ,electricity, piped water delivery and others - state of feeling safe , recreation, relatives relation were/ are considered as some of the pull factors for rural urban migration . Cities are the centers of different attraction like a relative high wage, an advanced soft and hard infrastructure with connection cities facilities and services, enhanced city cultural expression and way of life.

Access to information has either facilitating or hindering factor for the rural urban migration. The means of information may vary from friends who return from migration, electronic or printing media.

The reasons for youth migration vary. Often, a combination of several major factors leads to the decision to migrate. Personal considerations, socio-economic circumstances, and the political situation in the country of origin may be important contributing factors. Often, the main driving force behind youth migration (particularly international migration) is the magnitude of perceived inequalities in labour market opportunities, income, human rights and living standards between the countries of origin and destination. Some young people migrate to escape conflict, persecution, or environmental threats. The decision to migrate is often related to important life transitions, such as pursuing higher education, securing employment or getting married. This phenomenon has led to social, cultural and demographic transformation of the communities of origin and destination (United Nation, 2013).

Poverty, job searching and family influence were the main push factors for outmigration, while better opportunity, prior migrants and availability of job were the main pull factors behind migration in Bangladesh ( Hossain ,2010 )

Hussain et al. (2004) made an attempt to study the major factor behind the migration of 120 respondents of Faisalabad city in Pakistan. It revealed that a majority of the respondents were agreed with the non- availability of job was the main reason for their migration. Besides, the absence of educational facility, poor health institutions, low paying jobs, poor rural settings, labour intensive agriculture production, family disorganization and polluted environment were found as the factors that pushed them to migrate. The outcome of the analysis indicated that better education and better employment were the pulling factors for their migration. The study also mentioned the other pull factors which attracted the migrants were better health institutions and facilities, high paying wages, better housing, public entertainment and better sewerage system.

Singh and Kaur (2007) in their study mentioned the factors of migration as economic, social, psychological, political and natural. The study attempted to bring out the important push and pull factors of migration of the respondents to Ludhiana city of Punjab. The result of mean score of 90 migrant labourers indicated that poverty, low employment at native place and more employment and higher wages in Punjab were the prime factors for their migration. Other equally important economic causes of migration were indebtedness, small land holdings and low incomes in villages. The study mentioned the role of other reasons for migration as well and reported that economic and social causes were the prime factors which forced the respondents to migrate to Punjab.

Regassa and Yusufe (2007) documented the factors inducing migration among 1258 respondents in Southern Ethiopia. The study employed a Multivariate analysis and found that the rural out- migration in Southern Ethiopia was related to economic as well as non- economic factors like shortage of land, food insecurity, and household size pressure, educational and religious status.

An empirical analysis was carried out by Devi et al. (2009) to find out the determination of rural out migration in Coimbatore city. The study made a survey of 100 migrants from four zones. It was revealed that migration among the low income group is mainly because of poverty and search of better employment. By finding the economic reasons as the main cause for migration, the study analyzed the discrimination between the two groups such as those migrated for economic reasons and for non- economic reasons. It was found that the means of the factors of the migrants who had migrated for economic reasons were higher among the nuclear family belonging to the Hindu religion and backward communities.

Misra (2008) attempted to study the determinants of migration among 300 migrated labourers in Alang Ship Breaking Yard (ASBY) in Gujarat. The study found that both 'push' and 'pull' factors influenced migration. It was revealed that 35 per cent of them mentioned 'pull factors' were the main cause of their migration and 65 per cent cited 'push factors' were the leading cause for migration. The non- availability of work in the native places, not enough property, social and family disputes were identified as push factors of migration.

The significant pull factors were the presence of friends and relatives and the availability of finance in the destination place. The study further found that relatives and friends of the migrants were not only providing information about the employment opportunities in the destination area but also assisting in getting jobs and to reduce the cost of migration by arranging for the migrants' initial stay with them.

2.2.2 Consequences of Migration

Migration has its own positive and negative consequences on the place of departure and destination. Natural resource depletion, environmental pollution, earning disparities, redundancy, urban expansion, social unrest, population crowding were/are some of the negative effects of migration. Whereas migration has paved the way for development, enhanced process of industrializations, serve as means of livelihood and even more the remittance become sources of family income and mechanism of to escape drought and famine (Dang 2010, Mohapatra 2009 ) . Some country specific evidence, in India and Vietnam, has show that migration reduced poverty at the family level. According to Deshingkas and Akter (2009) in India exists of 100 million circular migrants which contributed 10% of national GDP. In Vietnam 3% poverty decreased due to seasonal migration (De Brauw and Hargaya 2007) . In the contrast to the above positive effects of migration, migration does not reduce poverty but it does help families’ from sliding into further poverty. In border spectrum, rural urban exodus has a marked effects and influences on different aspects of the places of leaving and arrival.

In the border spectrum, the consequences of migration will be treated as follow:

Rural urban migration has its own positive and negative impact on the size of population both on origin and destination places. In the rural areas the size of existing population will be deteriorating whereas in the counterpart of town will be increasing hence most of the migrants exist in the age of reproductive ( Khinchure , 1987 ).

According to different research findings migration by its nature strongly geared with age and sex, so the population composition of rural and urban areas will be reconstructed ; the very reason for this is the age of the new comers/ the migrants is less than the dwellers of cities. Because of the above facts, the lures of people from rural to urban areas become the source of young generation; which further paved the way boost of number of population (, 2004). The above stated situation becomes more favorable in African migrants. Hence they are not acquainted with birth control mechanisms and then the composition of the population formation exposed for uncontrolled reproductions (Ibid, 2004).

The persistence of city –ward migration has direct out comes on the economic aspects of the place of origin and destination. It is manifested in two ways: first and most for the migrants open the door for the employment opportunity and securing the basic necessity of life becomes wide and secondly the migrants financial sources and means become divergent (Siddqui, 2012). A good point in case is that the increase of monthly incomes Nepalese migrants to Middle Eastern countries by 7.4 time to that of non-migrants of in Nepal (Siddqui, 2012). The economic gain of migration is manifested at individual, household, societal and national level and paved the way for the economic advancement of the place of origin and destination. The amount of remittance sent back to the country of origin has increases from time to time ; in 1997 , 2010 and 2013 were USD 77 , USD 440 , USD 529 respectively ( World Bank, 2013 b) . The figures of internal migration with national territory have greater than international migration. In 2009 UNDP estimated that the number of internal migration is nearly four times greater than international migration. Even if the number of internal migrants is greater than the international migrates, there is great limitation on the information of the volume of internal remittances at national or international level. There will be some basic reason for the absences of information: the emphasis given to internal migration is very low, the internal remittances transaction recording is not conducted by the central banks and the means of of sending remittance are not formal channels. (Castaldo, Deshingkarand McKay, 2012).

A kind of migration whether internal, regional and international has economic advantages; the accesses to employment and earnings become wide. Even more international migration has contributed much for diminution of poverty at household level and also plays a great role for the establishment of strong human capital. Migrants active involvement in the community overall economic, social, and cultural spheres has great effects. Their participation may express in sending remittance, skill, technology to fill the gap of to society. This engagement fosters rural economies and advances economic development (Siddqui, 2012).

Mberu (2006) has studied thoroughly to determine the nature of temporary against lasting for long time migration and the living conditions at family level. According to his findings, both permanent and temporary migrants frequently move to work place not related with the occupation of their origin – agricultural –. In relation to the education attainment of the two groups the temporary migrants’ level of education is higher than permanent migrants; however their intention not to involve to the occupation similar to their place of origin enhanced a decent standard of living.

The impact of migration has clearly seen on the metropolitan indispensable amenities. It has shown a marked effects and influences on the city amenities provisions. Overcapacities and overloading in metropolitan, twisting of government services provided for the benefits of the communities such as education, medical care and housing the expanse of basic needs mounting , generally the access to human wellbeing become narrow. The supply of ecosystem, natural resources, environment to societies becomes deteriorated. Even more social unrest like theft, crime, and idleness has more prominent. Migration has open the door for the expansion of unwanted sexual activities for the payment particularly on the side of women, ways of street livings, and curable and incurables diseases (Adepoju, 1995).

Squatter settlement and the increments of the cost of the rented house is the other negative side of migration. According to UN-HABITAT, the phenomena of overpopulation and alarming rate of population growth, the observable urban development at high speed in connection/joint with ceaseless and continued poverty widely opened the gate for the unprecedented unban poorest of the poor (Mathewos and 2011).

The slums and squatter settlement ranking of Ethiopia in the world level is very much disappointing. 80% of the housing in Addis Ababa is squalid and overcrowded urban areas inhabited by the very poor people (ORAAMP, 2001) The circumstances in the other part of regional state cities and urban areas is exactly similar with Addis Ababa(CSA, 2005, 2007 ).

Chandra (2002) studied the consequence of internal migration in Fiji. The data were collected in 1992- 93 among 2416 migrants and found that rural to urban migration and more importantly inter- urban migration had been most pronounced. The study examined the social and economic conditions at their destinations on the view of heads of migrant households. After migration, professional, technical and related occupational groups, sales personnel showed a slight growth in employment and that indicated a positive marginal change relating to salary and wage earners. The economic consequences of migration provide unambiguous support for the notion that migration in Fiji is economically beneficial for migrants.

Kumar (2003) examined how far the extent of settlement problems and adjustments among un-married rural migrant men in a new urban environment. The study emphasized the changes in the economic status of migrants in the process of migration. A household survey was conducted among 81 un-married men in the age group of 24-39 years in Krishnagiri municipality. A notable proportion of the rural migrants moved in to the town when they were in their early and late childhood age groups. The main reason for moving in to the town among the rural migrant youths were their parents transfer and to do business in town. Economic status of the selected respondents showed that both the working status and income of many of the respondents were improved after migration.

A study conducted by Semyonov and Gorodzeisky (2008) to observe the impact of migration on income and the standard of living of the migrant's households in Philippines. The analysis was made among 2388 households to estimate the contribution of remittances between the households with and without overseas workers. The result of the multi- variate analysis showed that the income of households with overseas labor migrants was higher by 30 per cent than the income of households without labor migrants. The effect of overseas employment on income was positive and highly significant. The analysis also displayed that household with labour migrants enjoyed higher standard of living than households without overseas. It implied that households with overseas workers were able to purchase more goods than the households without overseas migrants. The study demonstrated that the money that labour migrants send back home was mostly used by members of the households for consumption and to support education.

An empirical analysis on the effect of net migration on the economic growth of the developing countries was made by Dao (2010). The study used a statistical model from a sample of 46 developing economies in order to analyze the impact of migration on per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

The result of the least square estimates showed that the increase in net migration or the number of immigrants had led to a rise in per capita GDP growth. The empirical finding of the study supports the beneficial impact of factor mobility on this segment of the population in the developing world. The study concludes that an increase in net migration as a result of removing restrictions on labor mobility positively influences economic growth in developing countries.

Sundari (2005) has made a study to find out the quality of life of women migrants of Chennai city. The primary data was collected among 50 migrant women coming from various parts of Tamil Nadu. The study underlines that migration has solved the problem of unemployment among women but failed to improve the quality of employment. Workers who were in unprotected, non-regular category of employment obtained the lowest income and hence poverty incidence was more pronounced among these households. About 40 per cent of migrant households were living on roadsides, 30 per cent did not have access to safe drinking water, 65 per cent had no sewerage facilities and around 79 per cent did not have latrine facilities. The study specified that the pressure of unemployment and poverty caused by drought in the place of rural origin pushes the rural labour force towards urban centers in search of survival. A low level of economic, social, human and political capital drives the migrant work force to over crowd in to the informal sector.

Roy et al. (2006) studied the impact of rural urban migration on female migrant fertility in Bangladesh by using the data from 1999-2000 Bangladesh demographic and Health Survey. It was evident from the study that rural urban migration had significant effect on fertility in the selected area. There was poor rate of utilization of health care among the children of urban migrant compared with urban natives and their standard of living was very low. The significant impact found by the study is that the household poverty also was more prevalent among the migrants particularly long time migrants. The result showed that total fertility rate for rural urban migrants were lower than rural non- migrants and was higher than urban non migrants since they were adopted smaller family size norm.

2.2.3. The Nature of Rural-Urban Migration in Africa and Ethiopia

During colonial time most of African men were migrate to different plantation and mining site to earn cash income. Due to the openness of the colonial boundary circular way of migration was very common were as after decolonization the circular migration becomes shifted to permanent migration hence the easy movement blocked (Adepoju, 1995).Intra-rural migration and rural-urban migration are interlinked and dominant patterns of migration in SSA. Migration in developing countries has been increasing and will continue to expand despite the slowing down of migration rate in some countries in recent years. (Msigwa, 2013 ).

The inner and outer face of Africa is marked by different black scares. Repetitive drought and famine, clash and conflicts at domestic level and with neighbored states, political turmoil which hindered the development of the continent .Even if such ugly faces of Africa seen magnificently, the role of family in the creation of strong social ties is very pivotal . its role is beyond the natural role of replication but families are the main players in the creation system of social control and social capital and strictly follow and give attention for the over all aspects of African life including migration.

In most part of Africa, families tends to choose carefully one member of the family to involve in the migration and spend money to education him/her with the extended plan to achieve a particular long term aim : perpetuation of the constituents of the families or to support the diminishing supply of materials or assets .In setting such long term plan at household level, choose and spent money to one member of the family who have greater capacity to developed migrate income and spending remittances. By doing this, the family formulated a border vision of survival strategies in the time of difficult or danger for the house hold (Adepoju, 2005). For many African , remittance provide a means to escape from any difficulty situation ; economic, social , state oriented and cultural obligation of the families will be fulfilled by the money send from migrants from cities .

Covering the expanses for the education of one or more member of the family is the second coping mechanisms in choosing migration. The selected family member overall educational and living expanse covered by the families in the rural areas with hope of return of scarifies of the families when the migrants engaged in civil services (Oucho, 1990).

In SSA, rural urban migration for children and women has considered as strategies to adopted bad circumstances of the rural areas. Poverty and conflict are the basic driving forces for their migration. After arriving in the city, they are engaged in the different activities like domestics’ worker and sex workers (Sirinai, 2002)

In different rural urban migration literature in the relation women migration in Africa, they were leveled as secondary migrants. The justifications are related with traditional view of the statues and role of women in the society. The societal outlook and cultural norms prevent African women fully to involve in the lure of rural urban migration (IMO, 2005).


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The Cause and Consequences of Rural Urban Migration
The Case of Wolatia Soddo Town, SNNPR Ethiopia
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Wesen Altaye Aydiko (Author), 2015, The Cause and Consequences of Rural Urban Migration, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • Mr Wesen Altaye Aydiko on 10/30/2015

    Migration is a hot issues in this day. Especial rural urban migration, so in order to gain scholarly insight about the issues read Wesen Altaye book on the topic

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