This study examined the central characteristics of migrants and determinants of rural-urban migration in Southern Ethiopia based on snow ball sampling and a survey of 665 sample migrants using descriptive and econometric analysis. The results of this study showed that 76.2% of the migrants left their home at age ranges between 15 and 25 years. Similarly, it was found that 48% of the migrants were attending junior education level, while 28 and 13% of the migrants were attending secondary and primary education levels, respectively. Moreover, 80% of migrants in the study area were not married as at the time of their migration. In addition, the study found that the main reasons for rural-urban migration in the study areas were better jobs opportunities in the urban areas (44%), rural poverty (26%), search for further education (10%), starting new business (8%), to be free from restrictive culture (8%) and better urban services (4%). The regression analysis of the Probit model indicated that age, years of schooling, relatives at receiving areas, monthly income at sending areas and family size significantly affect rural-urban migration. Policies aimed at reducing rural-urban migration should focus on creating viable farm and non-farm activities for rural unbanked youth.
Key words: Rural-urban migration, push and pull factors, probit model, Ethiopia.
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