Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 394

Full Length Research Paper

Determinants of rural outmigration of children and youth in a rapidly urbanizing nation: The case of Ethiopia

Kassa Dad
  • Kassa Dad
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Social Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 08 October 2019
  •  Accepted: 29 November 2020
  •  Published: 30 April 2021


Young people have continued to flock out of densely populated rural areas of Ethiopia. The overriding objective of this study was to assess the causes for the departure of children and youth out of rural areas and the protagonists involved in the migration decision. Primary data were gathered through a survey that covered 300 migrant-sending households; and from in-depth interviews. The findings revealed that the major causes of outmigration were limited access to land and livestock resources, dissatisfaction with village life and the search for employment, the need to pay off parental debts, lack of income diversification, expansion in rural education, practice of early arranged marriage, peer influence and the lure of urban centers, and positive attitudes towards the migration of a family member. The results from Poisson regression analysis revealed that family size, educational status, sex and  age of the migrant-sending household heads at initial departure of the migrant and distance of the nearest urban center to the household’s premises  were found to be significant in explaining the variation in the number of children and youth migrating out of a rural household. From the results, it could be concluded that numerous economic and social motives are intermingled with demographic and environmental situations to generate outmigration.


Key words: Children, youth, rural-outmigration, migrant-sending household, causes of migration, poisson regression, Ethiopia.