West Yorkshire Urban Area

Rural Urban Push Pull Factors

Why do people move into bigger cities?

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According to social scientists rural, suburban and urban migration could be attributed to push and pull factors.

Urban refers to a human settlement where the rate of urbanisation and industrialisation is high. On the other hand, in a rural settlement, is one where the rate of urbanisation is quite slow.

Some experts argue that people who live in villages and hamlets are more educated, wealthier and healthier. In addition, they will generally live longer if they live outside cities and towns, have more disposable income and have a much lower crime rate.

Rural Push Factors

The negative factors in the place of origin, or the rural area, can easily contribute to the reasons why people move from such an area into urban and suburban areas. These factors ‘push’ or drive people out and away from the place.

The push factors include the lack of jobs, unemployment, poverty or social opportunities. The Push factors are the reasons why people leave rural locations in the countryside.

Urban Pull Factors

The positive factors contribute to the reasons why people move to urban and suburban areas. These factors ‘pull’ people in. These attractions are the reasons why people want to move to a place.

The pull factors are the reasons why people move to towns and cities. The reasons why people move to cities is for greater job opportunities, easier access to public transport, social amenities, cultural diversity and entertainment, better education and healthcare.

Urban City Living

The gradual increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas, in comparison to rural areas helps put the spot light on urbanization. This also reinforces the need for urban planning, the  prevention of disease, promoting human health and prolonging life.

Urbanization encourages dynamism and attracts diversity, higher institutions and universities, increased employment opportunities.

According to the United Nations, the estimated urban population in Asia will increase in 2050 by 2 billion.

Pros of Urban City Living

Moving into a cosmopolitan city either to work or attend university means you have the opportunity of meeting new people with different life experiences

Any major city has a variety of activities available to anyone. Different cuisines and restaurants, bars, night and comedy clubs, art galleries and museums. Major sporting or music event can be found at one point or another in a city near you.

A place like London is know for the iconic Red double decker bus and black cabs while New York is know for its Yellow cabs. Typically urban cities would have an efficient public transport that is able to service the ever growing population.

Cons of Urban Living

Most cities general have this issue. Noise pollution.

The cost per square metre of space per property in any major city is higher than in the rural areas. Apartments can be very small.

Cost of living can be very expensive, especially when you consider having a mortgage or renting, transportation costs and child care costs if you are raising kids.


The cost of living in any major city can be expensive. The Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2018 puts the following as the most expensive cities:

  • Singapore
  • Paris, France
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Hong Kong
  • Oslo, Norway



Suburban Living

Suburban areas, sometimes located on the outskirts of a city, are typically residential areas that exist as part of an extension of a city or as a distinct and unique residential suburban area within reasonable travel distance of a city.

Also referred to as suburbs, such communities  have higher population density than rural communities and  lower population density than urban neighbourhoods.

Commuter towns are primarily residential areas from which the residents commute daily into the city to earn a living. Most  commuter towns are suburbs near a metropolis that workers travel to daily, however, not all suburbs are commuter towns.

Pros of Suburban Living

The comparative value of space per square metre of property to space in inner cities means you can get a bigger home for less in rent or mortgage payments.  Suburbs will provide choices of larger houses with backyards or front gardens  while urban areas and inner cities will provide smaller apartments.

Proximity to rural and suburban amenities.

Cons of Suburban living

Potentially longer commute to work from commuter towns

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Rural Living

Rural communities are located away from cities and towns. They have lower population density and are not as crowded as the urban communities.  Businesses and homes are located far away from one another

Some people in rural areas live and work on farms while other people living near coastal villages work as fisher men. The primary industry  in rural communities is agriculture while wildlife is more frequently found in rural areas than in cities because of the absence of people and buildings.

Pros of Rural Living

Small settlements outside the city are sometimes called the country or countryside because of the native wildlife; mountains, streams and wide open spaces. Rural living embraces country life because of its peacefulness and serenity away from the bustling city.

The fresh country air, the peace and quiet, the absence of busy roads and transport hubs and the escape from the hustle and bustle of modern city life can also, ironically, be a ‘pull’ factor.

Cons of Rural Living

Rural communities have fewer manufacturing plants,  factories and warehouses and therefore less job opportunities. The lack of rural employment has over time led to the vicious cycle of rural-urban migration and rural brain drain.