Open Access Journal Article

Agglomeration Economies and Rural-to-Urban Migration in India

by Arup Mitra a,* orcid  and  Rajesh Raushan b orcid
Department of Economics, South Asian University, Delhi, India
Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, Delhi, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
JEA  2024, 58; 3(2), 58;
Received: 26 June 2023 / Accepted: 25 July 2023 / Published Online: 15 June 2024


Keeping in view the concept of agglomeration economies and the New Economic Geography (NEG) angle, this paper makes an attempt to examine the rural to urban population movement at the district level in India. The findings do not favour a strong positive association between levels of urbanization and migration rates.  However, there exists a cluster of districts which are able to attract migrants on a large scale in spite of being already urbanized. The work participation rate, share of services and construction work, and literacy rate all form parts of this positive nexus, indicating that opportunities exist with increased levels of urbanization which in turn prompt people to migrate. The positive spill-over effects of higher levels of urbanization are not limited to the urban spaces only as the adjoining rural areas also seem to have undergone   a significant transformation. The land use pattern and activities are changing and some of the developmental impact is evident. However, the regional variations in this respect are evident. There are sharp differences in the relationship between urbanization level and migration rates across regions. The nature of urbanization and its determinants and the outcome variables of urbanization and migration also unravel regional variations. Besides, there are many districts with higher levels of urbanization; yet, they are not able to attract migrants at a rapid pace. New investment opportunities can be created in these spaces to reduce the cost of growth and make employment generation process more effective, facilitating the rural population to take the benefits of agglomeration economies.

Copyright: © 2024 by Mitra and Raushan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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ACS Style
Mitra, A.; Raushan, R. Agglomeration Economies and Rural-to-Urban Migration in India. Journal of Economic Analysis, 2024, 3, 58.
AMA Style
Mitra A, Raushan R. Agglomeration Economies and Rural-to-Urban Migration in India. Journal of Economic Analysis; 2024, 3(2):58.
Chicago/Turabian Style
Mitra, Arup; Raushan, Rajesh 2024. "Agglomeration Economies and Rural-to-Urban Migration in India" Journal of Economic Analysis 3, no.2:58.
APA style
Mitra, A., & Raushan, R. (2024). Agglomeration Economies and Rural-to-Urban Migration in India. Journal of Economic Analysis, 3(2), 58.

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