16 de outubro de 2018
The key focus of this report is rural migration, which constitutes a considerable portion of both internal and international migration flows. By rural migration we mean migration from, to and between rural areas, whether the move occurs within a country or involves crossing a border. In many countries, especially those at less advanced levels of development and that still have large rural populations, migration between rural areas exceeds rural–urban migration. What is more, a large number of international refugees – at least 30 percent at the global level and more than 80 percent in sub-Saharan Africa – are found in rural areas of their host countries. Understanding rural migration – its magnitude, characteristics, drivers and impacts – must therefore feature prominently when addressing development.
Rural migration is closely linked not only with agriculture and rural development, but also with the overall development of societies. It is a historically important phenomenon which has contributed to the transformation of societies from essentially rural to more urbanized. It has accompanied the gradual process whereby labour is transferred from agriculture to more productive sectors in manufacturing and services that are often located in urban areas, thus contributing to rising incomes and economic, social and human development. The process of people moving out of rural areas, either to cities or to other countries, continues in many societies today. In many high-income countries the process has reached the point where agriculture and rural areas are economically viable only to the extent that immigrant labour is available. Clearly, we must recognize that rural migration is a phenomenon that presents both opportunities and challenges, benefits as well as costs, for migrants themselves and for societies in general.