Volume 23 - Article 20 | Pages 549–586

Circular migration patterns and determinants in Nairobi slum settlements

By Donatien Beguy, Philippe Bocquier, Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu

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Date received:30 Oct 2009
Date published:10 Sep 2010
Word count:10860
Keywords:Africa, demographic surveillance system, event history analysis, internal migration, Nairobi, slum settlements
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2010.23.20
 

Abstract

This paper measures migration flows and determinants in two slum settlements in Nairobi City between 2003 and 2007. The results confirm the high intensity of migration with a quarter of the total slum population and a third of those aged 15-30 being renewed annually. A circular migration system is at play whereby the majority of slum dwellers are short-term migrants spending on average less than 3 years in the area. Migration is more intense during early adulthood (20-24), and despite very similar determinants across gender, mobility is more intense among women compared to men. The increasing feminization of migration is likely to change the face of slum settlements, resulting in more balanced sex ratios, in line with city-wide trends in Nairobi over the past half century. The high population turnover is due to the insecurity of livelihoods, tenure, and poor basic amenities and social services in slum settlements.

Author's Affiliation

Donatien Beguy - United Nations Human Settlements (UN Habitat), Kenya [Email]
Philippe Bocquier - Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium [Email]
Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu - African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), Kenya [Email]

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