Causes of Urban Migration in Bangladesh: Evidence from the Urban Health Survey


Mass migration is increasing urban populations globally. One country where urban migration is significantly increasing is Bangladesh, where systematic research will explore the reasons for urban migration in order to devise policies in this area, including maintaining the balance of urban-rural developments. This study used the Urban Health Survey (UHS) 2013 to ascertain the reasons for urban migration in large divisional cities in Bangladesh. The 2013 survey examined the differences between male and female migration, alongside any significant sociodemographic factors that might contribute to their motivation for moving to the city. The survey revealed that a majority of women (64.8%) migrated for family purposes, for example, joining husbands or in-laws, or parents/children. However, in recent years, female migrants have been involved in income-generating activities mostly due to a recent garment-making boom in Dhaka and its suburbs. A higher proportion of men (85.3%) moved to urban areas for work-related reasons: searching for new jobs, better income, or transfer in services. Among the sample in this study, 77% of the respondents (79.3% female and 73.5% male) migrated from villages. This migration mostly centered on Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, where 68.1% of the total study sample migrated followed by 15.7% who went to Chittagong. The results indicate that the contemporary urban-centered economic policy in Bangladesh might require revision to accommodate the increased migrants from rural areas.

Population Research and Policy Review