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Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 593–614 | Cite as

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

  • Raaj Kishore BiswasEmail author
  • Enamul Kabir
  • Hafiz T. A. Khan
Research Briefs

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Urban migration Rural–urban migration Urbanization Dhaka Bangladesh South-Asia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the collaborative effort of the National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Measure Evaluation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), who made their data available for free. We would like to express our gratitude to the Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences (HES) of the University of Southern Queensland for the technical support it provided.

Author Contributions

RKB conceptualized the study, compiled the data, synthesized the analysis plan, performed statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. EK assisted to develop the methodology and edited the manuscript. The manuscript was critically reviewed and edited by HTAK.

Funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. All authors read the final manuscript and approved it.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. The Bangladesh demographic and health Surveys were approved by ICF Macro Institutional Review Board and the National Research Ethics Committee of the Bangladesh Medical Research Council. A written consent about the survey was given by participants before interview. All identification of the respondents was dis-identified before publishing data. The secondary data sets analyzed during the current study are freely available upon request from the DHS website at http://dhsprogram.com/data/available-datasets.com.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Southern QueenslandDarling Heights, ToowoombaAustralia
  3. 3.College of Nursing, Midwifery and HealthcareUniversity of West LondonLondonUK

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