Socio-Cultural Adjustment of Poor Migrants in Urban Bangladesh: An Empirical Study of Rajshahi City

Posted: 1 Nov 2014

Date Written: March 25, 2011


This study reveals that rural-urban migration in Bangladesh is poverty driven and consequently, the rural poor are moving to the urban centers has caused a direct transmission of rural poverty and backwardness. Project experiences and research, interalia of the proposed researcher of this project, have shown that rural-urban migration is socially and economically beneficial because it enables human resources to shift from locations where their marginal products are either zero or very low to places where these are high and also growing. Yet, migrants face a lot of problems of adjustment in a new and unknown society.

The research was composed in two adjacently located neighborhoods of Ramchandrapur and Bhadra area of Rajshahi City, where comparatively poorer migrants have settled from time to time. Data were collected a structured questionnaire 250 samples, from by employing observation and case study methods. The environmental and residential conditions were also recorded from the geomorphological literature. Secondary data were obtained from statistical yearbooks, local administrative records and various related sources. Data were analyzed through qualitative and quantitative methods.

Research indicates that the process of migration is strongly influenced by both of push and the pull factors, of which the most important push factor is the lack of jobs in the villages, while the prospect of getting employment and earning higher income in the cities is the major pull factor. However, apart from economic reasons, various social factors like marriage and dependency relations, and natural factors like floods, river erosion, droughts etc., are also important determinants of internal migration.

Most of the migrants are working daily basis. In the formal and informal sectors they are working as wage laborers in different categories like construction works, restaurant worker, brick making and grinding, rickshaw/van pulling, small trading, etc. Some of them are working as industrial laborer, welding men in workshops, blacksmiths, barbers etc.

The urban slums are over crowded. Poor sanitation, over exploitation and group clashes are seriously exposed in the slum environment. Migrants often live in highly deplorable condition and tend to be in dangerous locations, for example, next to railroad tracks or on riverbanks, floodplains, or landfill sites. Dangers are greatest for young children. Squatter housing tends to be made from flimsy scrounged materials that do not stand up under bad weather. Illegality or lack of tenure is also a key feature of urban squatter settlements.

The urban population has many prejudices about the floating population and poor migrants. Migrants encounter intolerance and discrimination every day. They face a lot of problems of adjustment in a new and unknown society. Urban life is especially problematic for female migrants who are on their own for the first time.

For the destitute migrants, immediate involvement in any type of work is crucial for survival and to coping with the new environment. With specific occupations, migrants may be exposed to more urban facilities and amenities, which may help them in a rapid adaptation to city life.

Keywords: Poverty, Migrants, Urban Society

JEL Classification: A13, A14, O18, I3

Suggested Citation

Farhana, Dr Khandaker Mursheda, Socio-Cultural Adjustment of Poor Migrants in Urban Bangladesh: An Empirical Study of Rajshahi City (March 25, 2011). Available at SSRN:

Dr Khandaker Mursheda Farhana (Contact Author)

Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology ( email )

Dhaka, 1230

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