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Determinants of the spatial dynamics of population movements within Bangladesh Haq, Ziaush Shams


This dissertation demonstrates that the spatial pattern of migration within Bangladesh can be 'explained' in a 'push-pull' framework. As the 'push-pull' theory of migration has been developed in the context of the developed world, the findings of this research validate the applicability of the 'push-pull' theory cross-culturally. However, the particular 'mix' of 'push' and 'pull' factors was found to be different from what is normally expected. By employing principal axis type factor analysis, it was observed that the 'pull' factors were dominant in determining the overall spatial pattern of inter-district migration within Bangladesh. As Bangladesh is overwhelmingly rural and population pressure on agricultural land is excessive, it was expected that migrants would be compelled to leave their places and 'push' factors would be dominant. The analysis involved the following steps: (1) literature survey of theoretical and empirical approaches to migration to justify concentration on the 'push-pull' theory, (2) selection of six kinds of migration streams such as (a) Rural-to-Rural Out-Migration Streams, (b) Rural-to-Rural In-Migration Streams, (c) Rural-to-Urban Out-Migration Streams, (d) Urban-to-Rural OUt-Migration Streams, (e) Urban-to-Urban Out-Migration Streams and (f) Urban-to-Urban In-Migration Streams; (3) Generation of a priori hypotheses describing the different responses of 'push' and 'pull' factors to the migration streams and the roles of (the intervening variable) distance on the migration streams as well; (4) estimation of migration data from indirect source such as 'place of birth data' in the absence of direct data on migration; (5) selection of explanatory variables; (6) application of principal axis type factor analysis to each migration streams (within each kind of migration); (7) selection of 'critical factors' (C.F.) from factor matrices; (8) preparation of tables (99 of them) incorporating factor loadings on the variables, factor scores on the subjects (districts), numerical data on migration, migration data expressed as 'velocity of migration' (V[sub ij]), and distance separating districts of origin (i) and districts of destination (j); (9) interpretation of the tables in terms of the 'push-pull' theory; (10) testing the validity of the working hypotheses. The analysis revealed that while population pressure on agricultural land, RD/SQMCA, and the presence of too many landless agricultural labourers, LLALF/TALF, acted as the 'push' factors; the availability of more land under rice and jute, Rice/TCA, Jute/NCA, and better opportunities for the expansion of cultivated land due to low intensity of cropping, TCA/NCA, acted as the 'pull' factors most frequently. It was hypothesised, a priori, that while the 'push' factors would be dominant in Rural-Rural out, Rural-Urban out and Urban-Urban out-migration streams, the 'pull' factors would be more important in other streams such as Rural-Rural in, Urban-Rural out, and Urban-Urban in-migration streams. In the hypotheses it was also laid down that distance will play a more important role in Rural-Rural in, Urban-Rural out and Urban-Urban in-migration streams than in Rural-Rural out, Rural-Urban out and Urban-Urban out-migration streams. But from the results it was discovered that the hypotheses were valid only partially. While the influence of the 'pull' factors were more than the 'push' factors in explaining the total migration system of Bangladesh, in 1951, the role of distance on migration was as expected. In 1961, the importance of 'pull' as well as distance increased. This study implies that the 'push-pull' theory which has been developed based on one or two migration streams and thus considered incomplete, is also valid when the whole migration system is considered. This will serve as an important contribution to the field of demography. This research is also expected to be helpful in population planning of Bangladesh. From the findings of this study, it appears that the majority of the migrants acted as 'rational economic men' and went to the districts where more (economic) opportunities were available to improve their standard of living. Thus to have a balanced regional distribution of population growth, the best way left perhaps is to increase economic opportunities in the rural areas by bringing more land under irrigation, providing fertilizer and better seeds, etc., so that the majority of the migrants may always be 'pulled' to the rural areas rather than to the cities. The improvement in the general economic conditions of the rural area will, at the same time, also lessen the possibilities of large scale exodus of people.

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