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Rural-urban Migration and its Implications for Food Security in Bangladesh

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Rural-urban Migration and its Implications for Food Security in Bangladesh. Institution: Department of Statistics, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST). Research Team: Dr. Md. Zakir Hossain, PI Professor, Dept of Statistics, SUST Dr. M. Mizanul Haque Kazal, CI

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Presentation Transcript

Rural-urban Migration and

its Implications for Food

Security in Bangladesh

Institution: Department of Statistics,Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST)

Research Team:

Dr. Md. Zakir Hossain, PI

Professor, Dept of Statistics, SUST

Dr. M. Mizanul Haque Kazal, CI

Chairman, Dept of Development & Poverty Studies, SAU

Mr. Jasim Uddin Ahmed, CI

Associate Professor of Economics, Moulvibazar Govt. College

key research questions
Key Research Questions
  • Who migrates? Are the food insecure households more prone to migration?
  • What are the different types of migration including child migration?
  • Are the rural-urban migration flows concentrated towards some big cities only?
  • Is the food security status of migrant households different from that of non-migrant households and how?
  • What are the Asian evidences and policy implications of rural- urban migration associated with food security?
  • What is the impact of migration on food security status at origin?
  • What strategies are to be taken to optimize the rural-urban migration outcome to food security?
objectives and expected outputs
Objectives and Expected Outputs


  • To sharpen policy-makers’ understanding of the diversity of rural to urban migration strategies and their impacts on household and individual food security in sending and receiving areas,
  • To provide information on potential interventions to strengthen migrant household food security.

Expected Outputs

(i)Identification of migration diversity through exploring the typology and mapping of its patterns,

(ii)Determination of food security status of the migrant households and impact of migration on their food security,

(iii)Review of Asian literature to find out evidence on the association of food security, rural urban migration and poverty reduction,

(v)Formulation of intervention to address food security of migrant households.

data and methodology
Data and Methodology

The study has adopted following techniques to gather the primary data:

  • Household-level survey at origin
  • Tracer survey at destination
  • Focus Group Discussion (FGD)
  • Key Informant Interview (KII)

In addition, the study has analyzed the HIES-2010 and Panel data of Dr. Mahbub Hossain to compare the relevant findings of the survey data.

Sample Design for Household Level Survey & Tracer Survey

  • The study provided the main Indicators in 2 rural domains, according to the East-West divide reported by the World Bank study of Bangladesh
  • The sample size determination formula yields that 750 migrant households are required to cover in each domain.
  • The study has adopted cluster (PSUs of BBS) sampling and covered 30 clusters in each domain (using systematic PPS)
  • Ultimately, 3000 units of analysis have been covered:

- 1500 Migrant and 750 Non-migrant households at origin

- 500 Migrant and 250 Non-migrant households under Tracer survey

analytical techniques
Analytical Techniques

Step-1: Measure the flow of migration including selectivity

The flow of rural-urban migration has been explored through descriptive statistics in different dimensions including flow-mapping.

Step-2: Measurement of the status of food security

(i) Perception analysis; (ii) Direct calorie intake (DCI);

(iii) Food expenditure; (iv) Coping strategy index (CSI) score

Step-3: Identification of the predictors of food insecurity

The binary multiple logistic regression model (BLRM) has been applied to identify the predictors of food insecurity.

Step-4: Impact of migration on food security

  • The impact of migration on food security at origin has mainly been studied using 2-stage and 3-stage NELM models
  • In particular, instrumental variable (IV) regression has been employed to study the impact of migration on per capita calorie intake.
  • The similar model has also been used by simultaneous consideration of migration determinants, remittance behaviors and income.
2 stage nelm models
2-Stage NELM Models

Where FS measures the per capita calorie-intake as a proxy food security status at the household level; Mig measures the number of migrants per household; X vector encompasses the household characteristics; Z is a vector of instruments

3-stage NELM Models

The basic equation for household income,(as a proxy of household food security) according to the NELM hypothesis can be expressed as

k = on-farm, off-farm;


To model migration, this study considers using count regression functional form, particularly the Poisson distribution form, since the number of migrants is non-negative.


General Features of the Study Population for RUM-2012 Survey data

  • About 29.2% study population were below 15 years of age, about 66% fell 15-64 years and about 4.4% were of 65 years or above.
  • Approximately 21% of the adult men earned incomes from agriculture, about 22% were unemployed, 12.6% engaged in study and the rest earned from off-farm activities. On the contrary, three-quarters of the women were engaged in household work, 9% engaged in study, about 11% were engaged with agriculture.
  • About 21% of the study population aged 5 years or older was found to have no education, about 36% were found to have primary-level education, about 39% were found to have secondary/higher secondary level education and only 5% people attained graduate level education.
  • The analysis of housing condition, sources of water & lighting and sanitation facilities as well as asset score of the surveyed households according to the migration status indicates that the migrant-households are better positioned than their non-migrant counterparts in terms of housing condition and possessing wealth.
landholdings income expenditure pattern of migrant and non migrant households for three data sets
Landholdings, Income & Expenditure Pattern of Migrant and Non-migrant Households for Three Data Sets
Flow of Migration in BangladeshPercentage of households reporting migration of any member by residence

Are the food insecure households more prone to migration?Comparison of some basic indicators between migrant (non-migrant in 2000 and migrated during 2001-2008) and non-migrant households (non-migrant since 2000) using panel data

selectivity age and education at the time of migration
Selectivity: Age and Education at the time of Migration

Age distribution of migrants for survey data and panel data

Educational status at the time of migration for Three Data Sets


Intended Nature of Migration

Destination of the migrants by region

Exploration of the child migration:Comparison of Pre-migration occupation and occupation at destination of the child migrants
Predictors of Food Insecurity: Relative risk against different categories of the covariates for different levels of food insecurity
impact of migration on food security through 2 stage nelm models
Impact of Migration on Food Security through 2-Stage NELM Models

Dependent Variable: Logarithm of per capita calorie intake

Endogenous Variables: Number of migrants in the household

Instrumental variables:Migration network, Share of male/female in 16-39

age groups at household level

impact of migration and remittance on household income using 3 stage nelm models
Impact of Migration and Remittance on Household Income using 3-Stage NELM Models

Dependent Variable: On-farm income; Off-farm income without remittance

Endogenous Variables: No of migrants in the HH; Amount of annual remittance

Instrumental variables:Migration network, Share of male/female in 16-39 age groups at household level, Relation of the migrants with household head

  • In rural Bangladesh, over half of the households are functionally landless and the migrant-households are economically better positioned.
  • Internal migration flow is higher from the West and international migration is higher from the East.
  • Food insecure or poor are not more prone to migration.
  • The migrants tend to concentrate to capital city and district headquarters.
  • The young people (aged 15-29 years), males and sons/daughters of the household heads are more exposed to rural-urban migration.
  • Temporary migration dominates over other types of migration and independent/single migration over family migration.
  • Literate people are more prone to permanent migration and illiterate people are more prone to temporary migration.
  • Type of migration from food insecure households significantly differs from that from food secure households.
  • Poverty, unemployment and poor educational facilities are found out as the main push factors. In contrast, better employment opportunities, better schooling, and wage differentials are sorted out as the main pull factors.

About three-fifths of the migrants sent remittances (average amount of Tk.38397) and household heads mainly decide to utilize remittances.

  • All the estimates of food insecurity indicate that non-migrant households are more vulnerable to food insecurity. The estimates also show that the migrants at destination are significantly less food insecure than their origin counterparts.
  • Reliance on less preferred and less expensive food items and purchase of food on credit are explored as the top coping strategies of food insecurity.
  • Landholding, occupation and education of the household head, debt status, location, dependency ratio, family size and household headship are determined as predictors of household level food insecurity.
  • Perception-based estimates on change pattern of some socioeconomic indicators reveal that migration puts mixed impact with positive net impact.
  • NELM-models determine that rural-urban migration exerts significantly positive impact on food security through different dimensions.
  • The major findings covered by the review of Asian literature are corroborated by the findings of the present study.
  • Improve educational facilities for quality education in rural areas, which matches the skill needs of rural labour markets including vocational and training facilities.
  • Promote programmes to enhance more and better opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship development in rural Bangladesh to provide alternatives to distress rural-urban migration, especially for youth.
  • The Government should also invest in better labour market information systems and job information services so that youth can access to better jobs and undertake migration in a more informed manner.
  • Actions to prevent and eradicate child labour, especially its most hazardous forms, with particular attention to unaccompanied child migrants.
  • Decentralize both administrative and developmental activities to discourage the concentration of rural-urban migration to capital city in particular and other big cities in general.
  • Local government should make proper arrangements for safety and security in rural areas for a sound environment to make rural stay hassle and anxiety free to discourage rural-urban migration and encourage reverse migration.
overall message of the study
Overall Message of the Study
  • The study explores that different kinds of adversity at origin compel a stipulated section of rural population to strive for migration to urban end where different kinds of prosperity attract them.
  • Different impact determining analyses based on descriptive, perception-based and model-based estimates identify that impact of rural-urban migration is significantly positive on food security in particular and overall living condition in general.
  • The majority of the findings of the present study are found to be aligned with those extracted from the review of literature, particularly on Asian countries.
  • One final message is that since migration is a revealed preference of the migrants, it cannot be stopped; rather, the policy-makers can make policies to better manage migration flows by providing support to leverage the opportunities arising from migration and remittances.