Bright city lights and the slums of Dhaka: determinants of rural-urban migration in Bangladesh

Ahsan A.K.M. Ullah, City University of Hong Kong

This paper explores the factors contributing to the migration process in Bangladesh. 197 randomly selected migrants and their families were interviewed at both destination and source locations using closed and open-ended questionnaires. The resulting data provided descriptive and analytical statistics. Data analysis reveals that the flow of migration to the major cities in Bangladesh is the result of rural - urban dichotomies in income, employment opportunity and absorptive capacity. A significantly higher percentage of migrants live in slums as compared to other places (P<0.003). Regression analysis shows that migration is influenced by both “push” and “pull” factors, such as the search for work, landlessness, extreme poverty, loss of income,, easy access to informal sectors in cities, and joining families or relatives. A factor analysis showed similar determinants. Reducing disparities between rural and urban areas should receive urgent attention to stabilise the migration process in Bangladesh.

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Presented in Poster Session 5