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Open AccessArticle

Climate Change-Induced Migration in Coastal Bangladesh? A Critical Assessment of Migration Drivers in Rural Households under Economic and Environmental Stress

1
Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, 50923 Cologne, Germany
2
Mershon Center for International Security Studies, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010051
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
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Abstract

Discussions of climate migration have recognized the need for probabilistic, systematic, and empirical analyses. We examine the importance of environmental stressors in migration using a multi-leveled analysis of a household survey of the climate-stressed rural communities of coastal Bangladesh. We find that a relatively small share (6.5%) of rural coastal people have migrated, overwhelmingly domestically and on a temporary basis. The main motives are better employment opportunities in urban areas, marriage/family reunification, and education. About a third are displaced by flooding that created loss of arable land. Being male, younger, and working outside of agriculture facilitate migration, and also those with greater human and horizontal social capital are more likely to migrate. Exposure to severe river erosion, residing closer to major waterways and in saltwater shrimp farming zones spur migration. Climate migration is in its first instance economic-induced with environmental stress contributing as a secondary factor. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate migration; migration motives; cyclones; erosion; environmental stressors; coastal Bangladesh; rural households climate migration; migration motives; cyclones; erosion; environmental stressors; coastal Bangladesh; rural households
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Bernzen, A.; Jenkins, J.C.; Braun, B. Climate Change-Induced Migration in Coastal Bangladesh? A Critical Assessment of Migration Drivers in Rural Households under Economic and Environmental Stress. Geosciences 2019, 9, 51.

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