Rural-Urban Migration is the movement of people from the countryside or villages to cities or towns. Rural-urban migration is a reaction to some of the prevailing conditions in the rural areas. The propensity to migrate from the rural areas to urban areas is presently high in West Africa, as a result of multifarious reasons.
Causes Of Rural-Urban Migration
The factors that cause rural-urban migration are divided into two major groups known as PUSH or PULL factors. The push factors are those conditions in the rural areas that compel people to leave, while the pull factors are those things in the urban areas that attract people in the rural areas. These push and pull factors include the following:
1. Lack of Social Amenities
Absence of social amenities like good roads, electricity, pipe-borne water, hospitals etc. contribute in compelling people to leave the rural areas.
2. Availability of Recreational Facilities in the Urban Areas
Many people especially the youths leave rural areas to cities where they can find recreational facilities like stadia, swimming pools, cinemas, amusement parks etc.
3. Higher Education
The need for higher education make many people to migrate to urban areas where majority of our higher institutions like universities, polytechnics and colleges of education are located.
4. Employment Opportunities
Many people move to urban areas for meaningful employment opportunities that they might not have access to in rural areas.
Newly married ladies whose husbands are in urban areas leave their base in order to go and live with their husbands.
6. Business Activities
Those in the rural areas who have business intentions move to urban areas where the business action is.
7. Natural Disaster
Natural disasters like outbreak of diseases, erosion, earthquake etc, may push people away from rural areas to cities.
If one is kept at arms length by members of his community for any reason, one of the options left to that person is to migrate to urban areas that is made up of people from different areas.
9. Political Reasons
A person may move from rural area to urban area considered as a point of political activities, in order to participate fully in politics.
Consequences of Rural-Urban Migration
1. Uneven Distribution of Population
The urban areas become densely populated at the expense of rural areas.
Many urban areas are today congested as a result of mass movement of rural residents into them.
3. Increased House Rents
More people are now chasing the few houses in urban areas which leads to increase in rents.
4. Escalation of Unemployment
Many unemployed people reject job offers in rural areas and move to cities thereby worsening the unemployment situation.
5. Increase in Crime Rate
Many unemployed people who moved away from the rural areas to cities with the hope of getting employment take to crime when their hopes are dashed in order to keep body and soul together.
6. Agriculture is Greatly Affected
The able-bodied people move to urban areas leaving children and the aged behind in the rural areas to practise agriculture.
7. Increase in Price of Goods
The presence of many people, especially the unproductive, unemployed in the cities, low agricultural productivity, etc, are some of the contributory factors to increase in price of goods.
8. Disparity in Development
The dense population in the urban areas attracts more government attention at the expense of sparse population in the rural areas.
9. More Business Activities in Urban Centres
Densely populated areas like our cities are the focus of business activities because demand is always higher than in sparsely populated areas of the countryside.
10. Increase in Political Malpractices
Political violence is higher in urban areas because of the presence of many unemployed youths from rural areas who constitute ready tools used by the politicians in achieving their atrocious and selfish political aims.
How to Solve the Problem of Rural-Urban Migration
1. Provision of Social Amenities to Rural Areas
The availability of social amenities in rural areas will discourage many people from migrating to urban areas.
2. Establishment of Industries in Rural Areas
This will provide jobs to rural residents and discourage them from leaving to cities in search of jobs.
3. Provision of Recreational Facilities
If recreational facilities like stadia, swimming pools, cinemas, amusement parks etc, are made available in rural areas, they will reduce the propensity of our youths to move to urban areas.
4. Establishment of Higher Institutions In the Rural Areas
This will discourage rural-urban migration in the quest for higher education which can now be obtained in the rural areas.
5. Improved Agricultural System
If this is done, agriculture will be more attractive and many school leavers will take it as their occupation and stay in the rural areas instead of migrating to urban areas in search of white-collar jobs that are scarce.
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