Consequences of Rural & Urban Migration

Updated April 17, 2017

Migration of population between rural and urban living areas is inevitable in every growing, developing economy and society. People move from rural to urban areas or vice versa for a variety of reasons: the search for a better life, better education prospects, greater job opportunities. Whatever the cause of the migration, social and economic studies and research into migrant theories suggest that the consequences of migration are manifold and influential in determining the advance of an economy and society.

Variable Changes in Earning

A notable cause of rural to urban migration is the desire to earn more. This will force the ones who have the capacity to earn to migrate to urban areas where they pursue a better life. Those who are left behind are the less energetic, the more dependent ones. This causes a greater disparity of income. While those who leave for urban areas may get richer, the ones who stay will get poorer. Their lot will not improve.

Breakdown of Family Units

Urban and rural migration---moving from cities to farms and villages or vice versa---cause the family unit to split and break down. While it is inevitable in the modern globalised world to spread out and form new connections, the basic family suffers from the divide. The young ones will move away---for education, employment, economic or social opportunities---and may not return.

Increasing Competition

People who migrate from rural areas to urban areas in the desire for a better life create more opportunities for themselves in their new homelands. They work harder to achieve their goals, and their settled urbanised counterparts may find themselves faced with stiff competition from the rural migrants. This may lead to an improvement in the general quality of work and greater productivity, since everyone will work harder for a better life. In times of economic crises when there is job insecurity, everyone works hard to keep their job.

Imbalance of Population

Rural and urban migration creates an imbalance of population: Some areas feel the vacuum of diminished population while others feel the cluster of denser population. This affects standard of living, job opportunities and the environment. The ripple effect of people moving en masse from villages to cities in search of jobs and better lives is visible in problems such as traffic, crime rate, pollution and rising prices. The migration of people from one place to another affects more than one person.

Chasing the Pastoral Dream

Sometimes people move from congested and thriving city centres to quiet rural landscapes to live the pastoral life. This migration may be the result of high living costs in urban centres or simply to reunite with family roots. This migration causes population to shift to rural areas and results in a loss of agricultural land. More housing is required to accommodate growing families or migrant people, and the cost of living increases for everyone.

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About the Author

Laura Pru began writing professionally in 2007. She has written for Andovar and Signature Magazine among many other online publications. Pru has a Bachelor of Arts in film studies from University College Falmouth.