In 2009, the tropical cyclonic storm Aila hit 11 southwestern coastal districts in Bangladesh, which triggered migration. Many studies were conducted on the impact of Aila on southwestern coastal communities; however, no comparative study was done on migrant and non-migrant households. Therefore, this article set out to assess the impact of cyclone Aila on the socio-economic conditions of migrant and non-migrant households. The households that could not cope with the impact, resulting in at least one household member having to migrate to seek an alternative source of income, were considered migrant households. On the other hand, non-migrant households were considered as those where no one migrated. The unit of analysis was the households. The research was conducted in the Koyra and Shymnagar sub-districts of Khulna and Satkhira, respectively. Mixed-method analysis was carried out using quantitative data collected from 270 households through a survey and qualitative data through 2 focus group discussions, 12 key informant interviews, and informal discussions. Data were analyzed through a comparative analysis of the migrant and non-migrant households. The findings showed that migrant households were better equipped to recover from losses in terms of income, housing, food consumption, and loan repayments than non-migrant households. It can be argued that the options of migration or shifting livelihood are better strategies for households when dealing with climatic events. Furthermore, the outcome of this research could contribute to the growing body of knowledge in an area where there are evident gaps. The findings could support policymakers and researchers to understand the impacts of similar climatic events, as well as the necessary policy interventions to deal with similar kinds of climatic events in the future. The study could be useful for developing and refining policies to recover from losses as a result of the same types of climatic events.
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