Internal migration in Malaysia: Spatial and temporal analysis

Type Thesis or Dissertation - PhD
Title Internal migration in Malaysia: Spatial and temporal analysis
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Some of the theories in the third world countries claimed that rural to urban migration was the result of rapid urbanisation in many developing countries. With the hypothesis that migration, especially rural to urban migration, is the dominant factor for urbanisation in Malaysia, a study is undertaken to investigate whether this
hypothesis is still valid.

Using data from the Malaysian Censuses of 1991 and 2000, this study embarked into some empirical analysis to understand the dynamics of population movements in
Malaysia and how this has shaped the population settlement in this country. The study is about time and spatial structure. The urban and rural areas in Malaysia are
shaped through time and by population shifts within and between its settlements.

The study analyses the population shifts by looking at internal migration in three different levels, the state level, the district level and the urban/rural level. The
empirical analyses and evidences at these levels comprised the major part of this thesis. Conclusions are drawn from these analyses.

The study found that short distance migration is prominent in Malaysia, although the number of population migrated from one area to the other have decreased in recent
years. The rate of long distance migration is also increasing which probably the result of higher standard of living and better transportation infrastructures and

The study also found that urban to urban migration has been dominant both within and between the states in Malaysia in the last few decades. Rural to urban migration is no longer dominant. In fact, rural to rural migration has been shown to be higher in many states than rural to urban migration.

The study also concluded that the expansion of urban areas between the Census periods have contributed to the urbanisation in Malaysia. The increase in urban
population is the result of extending boundaries of the cities and urban areas by local authorities as well as the creation of new urban areas when the previously rural areas
meet the requirement to become urban areas as defined by the authority.

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