Analysis of Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Rural-Urban Labour Migration in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

Odey, Stephen Adi


The study was conducted with the major objective of determining socio-economic factors influencing rural-urban labour migration in Calabar, Cross River state, Nigeria. Specifically the objectives were to: determine socio-economic and demographic characteristics of rural-urban labour migrants in Calabar, Cross River state, identify areas that are common sources of rural-urban labour migration in the study area and investigate socio-economic factors influencing rural-urban labour migration in Calabar, Cross River state. The study adopted survey design while simple random sampling was used to select samples. Questionnaires were used to collect data while percentages were used for analysis. The study discovered that socio-demographically, rural-urban labour migrants in Calabar were predominantly in age range of 26-35, male and single who were mostly educated at the bachelor’s degree or HND level. Furthermore, majority of the migrants operated small scale businesses as some had no jobs. Majority of the migrants moved from southern part of Cross River such as Akamkpa, Bakassi, Odukpani, Biase, Akabuyo. This was followed by migrants who moved from central areas of the state such as Abi, Ikom, Boki, Obubra. Migrants from northern Cross River areas like Bekwarra and Yala had least migration numbers. The rural-urban migrants’ socio-economic motives migration in Cross River predominantly included search for employment and quest for involvement in economic activity to earn money. Other factors included schooling, training in craftwork, search for menial jobs, assisting relatives in business, and desire to set up business. These factors are in tandem with Marxists theory which centers on economic determinism as driver of rural-urban migration bearing in mind that rural areas serve to provide cities with cheap labour. The study therefore recommends establishment and extension of some formal institutions like tertiary institutions and government offices in rural areas, locations of major industries in rural areas where raw materials are produced and holistic rural development to control rural-urban labour migration in the study area.

Keywords: Nigeria, Labour migration, Rural-urban, Economic activity, menial jobs, economic activity, rural development, Calabar.


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