Migration among Adolescents from Rural Malawi

Satvika Chalasani, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Barbara S. Mensch, Population Council
Paul C. Hewett, Population Council

This paper identifies patterns in and characteristics associated with internal migration among adolescents from rural Malawi using longitudinal data on 2,346 adolescents from the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study. Results reveal that adolescents from rural Malawi are quite mobile, although a large proportion of migrants moved to rural villages and stayed within the same district, with plenty of circular migration. Females were almost as likely to move as males, challenging automatic assumptions that migration is a young male phenomenon. Marriage is strongly predictive of moving for both males and females, even in the matrilocal Southern region. A typical portrait of migrant males emerges – migrant males move for economic opportunity, and are likely to be unmarried and living in households without their parents. Some evidence exists for positive selection and economic welfare improvements among migrants, particularly when moving for economic opportunity and to more urbanized areas.

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Presented in Session 113: Migration and Gender