Food prices in cities are often subsidized by government in order to maintain social stability (i.e., avoiding food riots). Even the lowest paying urban jobs often pay more than the highest paying rural jobs. There are more full time jobs available in urban areas, although there are usually more unemployed people competing for them, making them hard to come by. Corporate and export-crop farms are often large in size and adopt mechanized farming, meaning there are few jobs for rural farmhands, reducing job opportunities. Many services (health, sanitation, education, public transit, recreation, social, cultural) are available to the general public in urban areas, free or for small amounts of money. There is much rural poverty and unemployment and underemployment, so there is a lot of competition for any jobs that are available. Farm work pays very little, and payment is often in kind (food, clothing, shelter) rather than in cash, making it hard to buy needed items. The practice of dividing up the farm between sons eventually means that each son has too little land to make a living for his family. Migrants’ long-term prospects for economic betterment appear to be better in the city than the countryside, on average. Urban incomes are often 2 to 3 times higher on average than those in rural areas. Farm work is hard and boring, involving long hours from sunrise to sunset. Often newly settled lands, such as the Amazon Basin (rainforest), prove to be infertile or quickly become infertile, when cleared and used for farming, meaning families cannot support themselves even though they own the land they are trying to farm. Rural areas are largely devoid of any type of services (medical, cultural, social, transportation) that make life safer, easier, or more enjoyable. In most countries, a majority (typically 80%) of government spending goes into urban areas to support various services available to all or most city dwellers. Jobs are very hard to come by in rural areas, and when they are available they are often seasonal or part time rather than full time. The variety of lifestyles available in the city is much greater than in the countryside. Figure 14.4. Push and pull factors. Source : ILC.
Lesson 14, page 14 Canadian and World Issues CGW4U-A Copyright © 2007 The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. All rights reserved. Support Questions (do not send in for evaluation) 37. Develop a definition of the terms “push” and “pull” factors as they relate to the movement of people from rural to urban areas. 38. Create a two-column organizer similar to the following and use it to classify each of the 20 different factors shown in Figure 14.4 as either push or pull. Push Factors Pull Factors
Copyright © 2007 The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. All rights reserved.
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