Rural Migration and Social Dislocation: Using GIS Data on Social Interaction Sites to Measure Meaningful Differences in Rural-Rural Migrations

Elizabeth A. Sully, Princeton University
Kenneth Ekoru, MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS

Research on migration in Sub-Saharan Africa primarily focuses on rural-urban migration. Sparse attention has been given to the dynamics of rural-rural migration. Few measures exist to adequately differentiate types of household mobility in rural areas. Village boundaries and other political demarcations often inadequately express the ways individuals meaningfully interact across space. We seek to build on the existing research by using GIS data to explore different spatial measures of rural-rural migration in Uganda. We employ the concept of social dislocation, using distance to the nearest trading center as a proxy for spatial social networks. Individuals whose rural-rural migration results in a new geographically proximate trading center are classified as experiencing a migration with social dislocation. We then explore how this new measure is correlated with common measures of migration, and if social dislocation better predicts outcomes of rural-rural migrants.

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Presented in Session 211: New Methodological Approaches for Examining Internal Migration