The interrelationships between ecological degradation, poverty, and rural out-migration in Ethiopia are examined using data from a Household and Community Survey conducted in 1994-95. The survey, which covered a sample of 2,000 households, collected retrospective data on changes in household composition, including migration of household members, during the period 1984 to 1994. The study hypothesizes that the decision to out-migrate in the impoverished rural areas of northern Ethiopia is influenced by a combination of factors based on individual, household and community characteristics. A multilevel analysis is applied to determine the role of these factors in the decision. The findings show that individuals belonging to economically poor households in ecologically vulnerable communities have a higher propensity to out-migrate for economic reasons, compared with those who belong to wealthier households in ecologically less vulnerable communities. The study provides information relevant to policy formulation in the interrelated areas of environmental planning, workers’ mobility, poverty alleviation, and urban development.
Ezra, Markos. 2001. "Ecological degradation, rural poverty, and migration in Ethiopia: A contextual analysis," Policy Research Division Working Paper no. 149. New York: Population Council.