Networks Versus Need: Drivers of Urban Out-Migration in the Brazilian Amazon

Heather F. Randell, Leah K. VanWey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


As urbanization rates rise globally, it becomes increasingly important to understand the factors associated with urban out-migration. In this paper, we examine the drivers of urban out-migration among young adults in two medium-sized cities in the Brazilian Amazon—Altamira and Santarém—focusing on the roles of social capital, human capital, and socioeconomic deprivation. Using household survey data from 1,293 individuals in the two cities, we employ an event history model to assess factors associated with migration and a binary logit model to understand factors associated with remitting behavior. We find that in Altamira, migration tends to be an individual-level opportunistic strategy fostered by extra-local family networks, while in Santarém, migration tends to be a household-level strategy driven by socioeconomic deprivation and accompanied by remittances. These results indicate that urban out-migration in Brazil is a diverse social process, and that the relative roles of extra-local networks versus economic need can function quite differently between geographically proximate but historically and socioeconomically distinct cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-936
Number of pages22
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 21 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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