Who and Why? Understanding Rural Out-Migration in Uganda
Rompaey, Anton Van
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Rural–urban migration in developing countries is considered to be a key process for sustainable development in the coming decades. On the one hand, rural–urban migration can contribute to the socioeconomic development of a country. On the other hand, it also leads to labor transfer, brain-drain in rural areas, and overcrowded cities where planning is lagging behind. In order to get a better insight into the mechanisms of rural–urban migration in developing countries, this paper analyzes motivations for rural–urban migration from the perspective of rural households in Uganda. A total of 1015 rural households located in southwestern Uganda were surveyed in 2019. A total of 48 percent of these households reported having at least one out-migrant. By means of logistic regression modeling, the likelihood for rural out-migration was assessed using household- and community-level socioeconomic characteristics as predictors. The results show that most out-migrants are from relatively wealthy households with a higher-than-average education level. Typically, these households are located in villages that are well connected with urban centers. Poor households in remote locations send significantly fewer migrants because of their limited access to migration information and poor transport networks. From these findings, the following policy recommendations are made: Firstly, efforts should be made to extend basic social services, including quality education, towards rural areas. Secondly, in order to reduce socially disruptive long-distance migration and the eventual overcrowding and sprawls of major cities, government investments should be oriented towards the upgrading of secondary towns, which can offer rural out-migrants rewarding employment and business opportunities.
- Natural Sciences