The impacts of rural to urban migration in India

India is an example of an emerging and developing country (EDC). Each year thousands of people move to the city of Mumbai from rural areas. People move to Mumbai because the rural areas they leave have many push factors and the city has lots of pull factors. People think that the city will provide lots of opportunities such as:

  • social - better housing and services, eg healthcare and education
  • economic - more jobs and higher wages
  • environmental - better living conditions with a safer environment (less chance of natural disasters)

People who move think that they will have a better quality of life. However, cities such as Mumbai face lots of challenges and the people who move there do not always have a better quality of life. Some of the challenges people may face include:

  • social - poor housing conditions and much higher crime rates
  • economic - low wages or unemployment
  • environmental - polluted drinking water and a lack of sanitation

Impacts of rural to urban migration

Rural to urban migration impacts both on the rural area which loses people and the urban area which gains people.

Rural area


  • fewer people to feed
  • more land per person
  • more resources per person
  • money may be sent home by migrants


  • population structure upset by loss of young people
  • fewer economically-active men left in the rural community
  • families are split up
  • the elderly remain and the death rate in the community may increase

Urban area


  • increased economically-active elements of the community
  • increase in the cultural wealth
  • more knowledge and skills in the city community


  • pressure on places to live
  • tensions between older and newer residents
  • pressure on services such as education and healthcare provision