Internal migration in Bangladesh

A comparative analysis of coastal, environmentally challenged, and other districts

Authored by: Bimal Kanti Paul , Avantika Ramekar

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Displacement and Migration

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138194465
eBook ISBN: 9781315638843
Adobe ISBN:


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The primary objective of this study was to determine spatial patterns of contemporary internal migration in Bangladesh. Guided by the environment-migration nexus, we expected to find that in recent years, migration into coastal and environmentally challenged districts would be significantly lower than other districts of the country. The data used in this study to test this hypothesis were drawn from the latest Population and Housing Census of Bangladesh. The census defined internal migration as the movement of persons outside their district of origin for a period of six months or more; we examined movement from 2006–2010. Of the 64 districts of Bangladesh, 19 are coastal districts, 9 are classified as environmentally challenged, and the remaining 36 are other districts. Migration rates in the three types of districts were compared, but no statistically significant differences were found. This implies that the internal migration occurring in Bangladesh during the study period was not caused solely by environmental factors but by interactions of many interrelated environmental, economic, social, demographic, and political factors. Based on this, recommendations are outlined for the Bangladesh government.

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