Internal Migration and its Impact on Big Cities

Increase in Crimes ratio.

Another negative impact of migration to the big cities in the social problems in citizens’ lives. First of all, the poor conditions of immigrants’ lives encourage them to commit crimes. Primarily, it feeds the phenomenon ‘mafia’ which has been created because of the social and economic poverty of distressed communities. The young population under the impact of migration is becoming criminals and the number of them is increasing day by day. It can be concluded that migration is a social movement that leads to face the of immigrants with the citizens of the cities where they have migrated. Of course, the citizens have socially better specialties than immigrants and the social levels create crime.

Theories suggest that urbanization is good for promoting the growth of industries and development in the economy. The other face of this urbanization may be the encouragement of crimes as well, since, crimes normally occur in large cities and in urbanized areas (Krivo and Peterson, 1996). In rural areas, due to lower population density, criminal persons have less chance of hiding themselves because people know each other. The opposite is true for urban areas.

The main facts of crimes in urban areas are the fewer chances of arrest and recognition (Glaeser and Sacerdote, 1996). Therefore, it is argued that as urbanization increases so does crime (Galvin 2002; Gaviria 2002). Hence, one may argue that more urbanization is an indicator of higher crimes. This is a common observation for many countries in the world. Throughout the world, the rate of expansion of the urban population is on the rise because of substantial industrial development. As Gumus (2004) argued that in 1950, 30% of the world population was living in urban areas whereas, in 2000, this value reached 47%. It is estimated that this figure will reach 60% in 2030. In Pakistan, there is a rapid increase in crimes like the other countries of the world. It may be the effect of urbanization and some other economic and socio-economic factors.

Cultural, Ethnic, and Political Problems:

Cultural erosion is also a big problem in the big cities. To begin with, the migrants vary because of the new culture to which they try to adapt, and this is called a natural adjustment. Additionally, obligatory assimilation unfortunately is cultural erosion.

In addition to the cultural problem, due to the proximity of people near the political and economic centers, people in cities influence the policymaking and development opportunities, so these big cities like Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Peshawar has more political power than the areas not densely populated and far from the political centers. Due to these reasons, the social makeup emerging from internal migration is creating political and ethnic tension. This situation has resulted in ethnic violence and blood-shed, especially in Karachi which is the economic center of the country, and as such also created economic problems.


From an economic point of view, urbanization is good as it facilitates the achievement of economies of scale and thus promotes the growth of industries and development in the economy. However, from a social point of view, urbanization encourages crimes as the rate of crime is higher in big cities and in urbanized areas. Since the migration to urban areas is mostly in search of jobs, therefore the policy makers should plan for more industrial centers in rural areas. These industrial centers will provide employment and consequently, excessive urbanization and crimes will be controlled.

In the case of Pakistan, urbanization causes more crimes and the reason behind it is unplanned migration. Because of this lack of planning, resources become scarce, land shortage problems,s, and environmental degradation occur which motivate people towards crimes. The policy makers should make some planned districts for adjusting the urbanization into those districts. These districts should have more chances of employment and more capacity to absorb the rapid urbanization. A very important implication is that government should create job opportunities in rural areas as well. This process will reduce the burden of unemployed persons in urban areas and finally reduce/minimize the ratio of crimes and economic, social, and other problems.

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