Rural-Urban MIgration

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Rural-Urban migration

The movement of people from rural areas to urban areas. 

It causes urbanisation, which is the growth in the proportion of people living in urban areas.

More than 50% of the worl's population live in urban areas and this is increasing. Urbanisation differs between developed and developing countries.

  • Most of the population in developed countries already live in urban areas.
  • This is because more rural-urban migration in developed coutries has already happened.
  • Less of the population in developing countries currently live in urban areas.
  • Most rural-urban migration that's happening in the world today is going on in developing countries - it's causing rapid urbanisation.
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Factors causing rural-urban migration

Migration to urban areas in developing countries is trigered by two main factors:

  • FDI from TNCs is concentrated in urban areas because he population density is high, so there's access to a large workforce. This means new job opportunities are created in urban areas.
  • Increased access to new technologies as well as transport links mean people in rural areas learn more about the opportunities available in urban areas.
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Push factors in developing countries

Inconsistent income and food supply: in rural areas many people are subsistence farmers. Crop failures can mean they make no income and risk starvation.

Overpopulation in rural areas: there are too many poeple for the resources in many rural areas, e.g. not enough land for everyone to farm.

Low srandard of living: there's often little access to adequete health care and education, and the demand is gigh because the birth rates are high. Not everyone has access to electricity or a clean water supply.

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Pull factors in developing countries

Job opportunities: more jobs are available in rural areas.

Higher wages: jobs in urban areas usually offer a higher and more stable income.

Higher standard of living: better access to health care and education. Also, greater access to things such as a clean water supply and electricity.

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Creation of cities and megacities

Increasing rural-urban migration means metropolitan areas are growing, helping to create more cities and megacities around the world:

  • Million cities are cities with a population of over a million.
  • Megacities are metropolitan areas with a population of aver 10 million people - more than 22 around the world.

Most new million cities and megacities are being created in developing countries in African and Asia where the greatest rates of rural-urban migrattion are taking place.

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There are huge numbers of people migrating from rural to urban migration to China.

  • 300 million rural Chinese people are noe thought to live in cities. 
  • There's a movement of people towards the east coast because most of the cities in China are concentrated there, e.g. Beijin and Shanghai.
  • Rural-urban migration in China has helped to create lots of million cities, e.g. there are more then 90 cities with a population of more than 1 million people in China today.
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Triggers of migration in China

FDI: lots of companies have opened factories in urban areas in China. This has created jobs, attracting people from rural areas. 

Technologies and transport links spread knowledge to rural areas about opportunities in urban areas. China National Highway 312 is a 4800-km road from the major urban areas in the East, through the rural central areas to the major city in the far west. People in rural areas find out about the opportunities available in the urban areas to the east and west because of the highway.

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Push factors in China

High unemployment: the use of more machinery has made agriculture more efficient, which has meant ewer workers are needed in rural areas. This has created high unemployment. So people have been leaving rural areas to find work.

Poverty: in 2004 there was 26.1 million people in rural areas in absolute poverty. People have been leaving rural areas to escape poverty.

Lower standard of living: services like education and health care are funded by taxes collected within the colac area. This means poor rural areas son't have the money to improve their services, so people leave to improve their standard of living.

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Pull factors in China

Higher unemployment: large-scale industrialisation since the 1970s has focused on urban areas. Large numbers of manufacturing jobs have been created by FDI and by Chinese companies.

Higher wages: average income is three times higher in urban areas than rural areas. People migrate to urban areas to increase their income and escape poverty.

Higher standard of living: the quality and availability of services like education and health care is better in urban areas because there's more money available to pay for them. People migrate to urban areas to have better access to adequete services.

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