Urbanization is a process where humans move from rural to urban areas or centers. It also involves movement from less developed urban areas to better ones. A major cause is a search for better opportunities and social standards. These include jobs, housing, schooling, healthcare, social facilities like sports among others. Recently, however, there has been a decrease in such movements. Below are some of the main causes and effects of urbanization.
Causes and effects of rural to urban migration
Opportunities for work was what had people leaving their rural homes to go to urban areas. This was arguably the biggest reason for urbanization. This is because industries, businesses, and government offices were located in urban areas. They required staffing, labor, and skills for all the sectors and since they were located almost at points of focus, they were the easiest places to get jobs.
Over the years, with the increase in population, opportunities have become less as industries and business are not growing as fast as the population. This has led to an oversupply of labor, bringing about tough competition in seeking employment. Also, coupled with improved technology that has replaced manual labor with machines in some jobs, it has slowed down the rate at which people move to urban areas to seek employment.
Social services and privileges
In the formative years, urban areas were given priority when it came to government services and projects. This was mainly because of the investments made by the private sector in those areas and the type of migration it attracted. Since a lot of people would move to such places, governments facilitated things such as lighting, water, sewer and sanitation services, schools, hospitals, social spots and so on. All these facilities would attract employment opportunities which would, in turn, attract an even larger population. This contributed a lot to the migration pattern.
Over time, these privileges have spilled over into the rural areas and less developed places as they have become necessities more than they are privileges. Lighting, sanitation, education, and health among others have found their way to rural areas. That means opportunities in all those sectors have moved to rural areas.
Population pressure and food shortage and insecurity
Initially, migration occurred due to calamities like drought and too much rain, increasing population that led to community clashes since the growing population would interfere with territories and boundaries. With urban centers forming, there was a guarantee of income which guaranteed the purchasing of food even in times of shortages. Also, the government would intervene in times of calamities by ensuring the working population or urban areas had enough food. The government also offered security to urban areas. This assured a sustained life in urban areas compared to rural areas.
Currently, urban areas have become overcrowded leading to unavailability of land to develop or live. There has been massive land subdivision which has also led to food shortage as land sizes are too small to be arable. This has led to increased prices of food items in urban areas making farming a business better known in current times as agribusiness. There has also been a security challenge in urban centers since most young guys lack employment hence resort to criminal activities to earn a living.
These are some of the current factors that have slowed down rural to urban migration.