Migration of male and female youth in the quest for productive living could affect rural households differently. This study assessed youth migration among rural households in Edo Central Zone, Nigeria. It specifically described the socio-economic characteristics of rural household heads, examined causes, patterns, and benefits of migration to rural households as well as identified the constraints faced by rural households as a result of migration. The sample for the study comprised 135 respondents obtained through a three-stage sampling process using purposive and simple random sampling techniques. Data were obtained with a structured questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. More of the migrants were youth males. Major causes of migration included search for employment opportunities (=3.98), better education and skills (=3.90), conducive social infrastructures (=3.80). Perceived benefits of migration to rural households included better knowledge and skills of migrants, enhanced social status, enhanced income from remittances. The constraints faced by rural households as a result of youth migration included depletion of house population (=3.95), reduction in farming activities and productivity (=3.51), shortage of farm labour (=3.74). There were significant relationships between age of household heads (r = 0.558; p < 0.000), household income (r = 0.415; p =0.001), household size (r = 0.240; p =0.021) and perceived benefits of migration. Youth migration was mostly caused by quest for better life which reduced farming activities although was perceived as highly beneficial to rural households. Development of rural areas could encourage youths to remain in the rural areas.
Key Words: Rural, Youth migration, Agriculture, Empowerment
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