Does rural to urban migration improve Indian women's health status and knowledge of AIDS

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



The present paper explores the effect of patterns and duration of migration upon health and morbidity condition of women and knowledge and awareness of AIDS. Cross-sectional data from India's second National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2, 1998–99) is used for this study. Analysis is based on 73,558 women age 15–49 years who belonged to different streams of migration. Bivariate as well as multivariate techniques have been used for data analysis. Women migrating towards rural area are more underweight than migrating towards urban area whereas reverse for overweight. However, women migrating from rural to rural area were more anaemic than women migrating from rural to urban area. Significant differences were also found for morbidity conditions like asthma, tuberculosis, jaundice, malaria and some reproductive health problems according to streams of migration. Knowledge of AIDS also significantly differs according to the stream and duration of migration. We found stream of migration and duration of migration plays a key role in health, morbidity condition and knowledge of AIDS among women. Therefore, quality of health care in urban areas should be more widely disseminated in rural areas to improve the health status of women. Also the information-education-communication (IEC) programmes related to AIDS should be made more strengthened and effective through television, radio and also through the school teachers to reach the rural masses in India.