Causes of Rural – Urban Migration.
In many countries, particularly in third world countries an evident pattern of rural to urban migration can be seen. This pattern of migration is not a new phenomenon. There are various reasons for its occurrence and these reasons may vary from country to country and over periods of time. The consequences of this type of migration however similar result for different countries and over different periods of time has. One of the root causes of rural to urban migration may be the lack of jobs in the area. Many of the jobs available in rural areas are agricultural based. Rural-urban migration has been attributed to a number of factors of which the most commonly cited are the growing pressure of population on agricultural land, the spread of education in rural areas, and the difference in earnings between rural and urban areas. Since a rise in the man/land ratio is likely to have a direct effect of reducing average earnings in agriculture, thereby contributing to the rural-urban earnings differential, it is not necessary to treat the two separately. A more likely cause is the difference between the earnings of the prospective migrants in rural areas and the earnings in the employment they expect to get in the urban areas. It’s seen, the likelihood of migration is greatest for agricultural wage laborers who hope to get jobs in factories, the difference between the earnings of wage laborers in agriculture and industry may afford an explanation of rural-urban migration. It is not merely the earnings-wages gap but also the probability of success in getting the opportunity to earn the higher income that explains the rural-urban migration rate.
A further important causative factor of migration was commonly assumed to be the spread of education in rural areas. Education stimulates the aspirations of the young people and their job expectations rise above the type of employment available in the rural areas. Those who manage to receive some education do not generally like to remain in the rural areas, particularly in agricultural employment. One may conclude, therefore, that a higher level of education acts as a contributory cause of migration. Within a given socio-economic class, the more educated have a higher inclination to migrate to towns. But which socio-economic classes show a greater tendency to migrate seems to be determined by the existence of an earnings differential. The evidence from the past two decades therefore suggests that it would be ineffective to tackle the urban unemployment problem through an isolated strategy of providing productive jobs in urban areas. Such a strategy may in fact be self-defeating in that it would act as an incentive to further rural-urban migration. Attention therefore needs to be directed also at providing opportunities of earning better incomes in the rural areas so as to curtail the tendency of the gap between agricultural earnings and industrial wages to widen.