MIGRATION DECISIONS AMONG RURAL HOUSEHOLDS IN RWANDA: WHAT DOES THE PUSH-AND-PULL MODEL REVEAL?
A country economic status is strongly linked to the transition of its population from one area to another. This, because labor and other forms of migration, has a twofold advantage: (I) resourcing the targeted location by skilled labor force, and (II) improving migrant households’ livelihoods by lowering the vulnerability level. This research aimed at understanding the factors affecting migration decisions among rural households in Rwanda. Data on internal migration were collected in 5033 rural households in 2016/2017 as a part of the fifth nation-wide crosssectional survey on the Households Living Conditions, and analyzed using the binary logistic regression model. The major findings showed that internal migration was higher in Southern (31.9%) and Western (24.3%) provinces, where official reports pointed out a high level of poverty. The lower rate was observed in Kigali City (3.5%) which was actually considered as richest area and the most internal migration ‘pull factors’ (jobs and other livelihoods opportunities) offering zone. Results also revealed that, on one hand, being from a rural area, the age, having a large household size, having advanced education level, and being an female household head were the ‘push factors’ increasing by around 30% and more the probability of deciding to migrate to another region. On the other hand, owning a land and being reach decreased the likelihood of moving to other zones. This leads to affirm that employment opportunity and availability of diversified livelihoods sources in receiving regions constitute the main ‘pull factors’ of migration decisions at rural household level. In light of these findings, it is recommended to (I) ensure more balanced regional growth and opportunities for increased access to off-farm employment for a larger proportion of the rural population and (II) carry out a study on the effects of migration on the livelihoods of migrant-sending households in order to make a thorough and refined situational analysis.