Long-Term Rural Demographic Trends
This paper studies rural demographic trends at the global level with an analysis of a specially prepared database of population age/gender/rurality tables from population censuses. The focus is to identify the main demographic differences in the evolution of rural and urban populations. Among the main findings of this study, we report that with the exception of Sub- Saharan Africa there is no rural feminization. Also, rural ageing is not observed at aggregate levels in rural regions of the developing world. Perhaps the main adverse demographic trend of rural populations is the high dependency ratios brought about by higher fertility rates. This paper also carries out a census-based cross-country net-migration study identifying the main characteristics of rural out-migration in Latin America, and searches for common threads in East Africa. This analysis shows important improvements of welfare indicators and asset accumulation in rural Latin America (promoting an upward convergence of poorer and richer areas of countries), partially explained by migration. We did not find common characteristics in rural out-migration in East Africa, but report that education is the key asset that enables out-migration from poorer rural communities in East Africa.
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