Internal Migration and its Impact on Big Cities

Review of Literature

The historical literature on migration is rooted in models of development that postulate that all countries, at some stage of their development, have experienced the movement of their labor force from the agricultural sector into the non-agriculture sector. More often than not, this inter-sectoral allocation of labor has implied the geographical movement of workers from rural (agricultural) areas to urban (industrialized) areas.

In preparation for this paper, I consulted various books, newspapers, articles, journals, population Census reports, and net browsing, focusing on the genesis of migration. I also went through the material available in newspapers on the subject which has become the basis of this paper.

Outline of the Paper

The organization of this paper consists of six sections. The first section deals with the introduction, statement of the problem, scope and significance, research Methodology, review of the literature, and the table of contents. The second section gives an overview of migration in Pakistan. The third section throw light on some main causes of migration i.e. push factors, pull factors, chain migration, Limited number of Job Opportunities in Rural areas, Economic instability and Social Problems, Insufficient facilities of Education and Health Services, and Natural Calamities. Section IV gives an idea of various types of migration like permanent & long-term migration and short-term & seasonal migration. The 5th section deals with the positive and negative impacts of migration i.e.  Economic and Social uplift, Better aspects of Education, Rising Living Standard, Environmental problems, Pressure on the civic institutions, Rise in Cost of livings and other basic amenities, Increase in crimes ratio and Cultural and political problems. The 6th section contains the conclusion and recommendations. At the end is the bibliography.

Migration in Pakistan – An Overview

Human migration has always been a common phenomenon under push and pulls factors in human history. Presumably, this flux is rooted in the desire of rural people to improve their quality of life by trying their future to the promise of urban development. In Pakistan, 10 million people, or 8% of the population of Pakistan, consisted of internal or international migrants (Government of Pakistan, 1998).

Thus, some of the surplus agricultural population, skilled population, and non-skilled population have moved to the big cities and consequently put pressure on the civic institutions. The urban population at the time of independence (1947) was 5 million (15.4%) that had increased to 23.84 million (28%) in 1981 and further to 42.445 million (32.5%) in 1998. From 1981 to 1998, the total population increased by 55% whereas the urban and rural population increased by 60 and 40%, respectively. However, during 2003, the rural and urban population is estimated to be 89.7 million (61%) and 53.3 million (39%) respectively (Government of Pakistan 2002-03). Due to this, urban areas are growing at a much faster rate than rural areas.

The following statistics from the three data sources will give an overview of the entire migrant population in Pakistan:-

Table-1: Number and rural-urban distribution of population and migrants.

Number of Migrants 15,645 9,976 10,829,264
Migrants as percentage of population 21.5 13.5 8.2
Percentage of women 63.0 54.2 49.0
Percentage moving from rural to rural 45.8 12.3
Percentage moving from rural to urban 26.2 33.2
Percentage moving from urban to rural 9.8 28.5
Percentage moving from urban to urban 18.2 26.0

Source: PIHS 1998, LFS 1998, Pakistan Population Census 1998.

Main Causes Of Migration

 The movement of people from one place to another and one region to another is as old as the history of human beings. The causes behind this movement are economic, social, and political, etc. Lee’s laws divide factors causing migrations into two groups of factors, generally known as (i) “Push Factors” and (ii) “Pull Factors”. Push factors are things that are unfavorable about the area that one lives in and pull factors are things that attract one to another area. This theory of “Push and Pull” was extended by Herberle (1938) in his studies on the Survey of German Theories on Census of Rural-Urban migration[2]. According to him, people migrate because they are thrust out (pushed) of former residences and are attracted (pulled) to new places. These factors are summarized hereunder.

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