Effect of rural-urban migration (Damie Ing Jia Ying)

Short Run Effect: Resource imbalance

Long Run Effect: Rising urban surplus labor

The problems that may occur in the city due to the rural-urban migration:

– Congestion/ Overcrowding

– Lack of Employment

– Lack of houses

– Pollution increases

– Lack of medical facilities

Graph showing rural to urban migration in Brazil


It is evident from the above graph that there has been a rapid movement of people from the countryside to the cities. The people move to cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo for the following reasons:

– These cities have big modern buildings

– The schooling is poor in their home towns

– Their home towns are subject to drought and poor soils make it difficult to grow enough food

– The north east of Brazil has very high birth rates; the average family size is eight people

– There are too many people, few town jobs

Rural-urban migration also has negative effects on the countryside.

– Normally the young adults leave, which means there will be a fall in the birth rate.

– The elderly remain behind and contribute less to the economy.

– Less disposable income in the rural area shops may close down, roads deteriorate and houses may be abandoned.

-The countryside begins to stagnate.

Illustration of the effect of rural-urban migration

The effects can be summed up as follows:

For urban regions

– Migrants provide industry with a young and inexpensive workforce.
~ However, large scale in-migration results in housing shortages, lack of employment, increase in crime and a lack of services.

For rural regions

– There will be a fall in the birth rate and a decline in food production.

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