Journal of Social Sciences

Internal Migration and Poverty Reduction: Rethinking the Debate on the North-South Movement in Ghana

Richard Serbeh, Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei and Thomas Yeboah

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2016.42.54

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 12, Issue 1

Pages 42-54


In the past few years the nexus that link internal migration and poverty reduction has been a subject of interest among researchers and policy makers. Internal movements constitute a major coping mechanism in poverty stricken areas although the evidence supporting this claim is equivocal. This paper critically examines the extent to which internal migration could acts as an important route out of poverty in areas where conventional poverty reduction policies have failed by drawing on empirical literature on the north-south movement in Ghana. We argue that internal migration may not be a silver bullet in the fight against poverty. This position is premised on two strands of thought. First, migrants may not always be able to improve upon their livelihood, earn income and leap-out of the malaise of poverty and the impact of remittances may not also be straightforward. Secondly, the very poor in the places where conventional development efforts have had limited success may not always have the wherewithal to move as migration is shaped inter alia by institutional, market and financial resources.


© 2016 Richard Serbeh, Prince Osei-Wusu Adjei and Thomas Yeboah. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.