Modelling inter-provincial migration in Burkina Faso, West Africa: the role of socio-demographic and environmental factors

S Henry, Paul Joseph Boyle, EF Lambin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    135 Citations (Scopus)


    This study analyses the factors that cause inter-provincial migrations in an African context (Burkina Faso, West Africa), focusing specifically on the role of environmental factors in driving large migration flows in ecologically marginal regions. It uses statistical methods for modelling migration data to assess the relative importance of socio-demographic and biophysical variables. The former included the percentage of the population who are male, literacy and economic activity rates, and the presence of a resettlement policy. The latter included measures of land degradation, land availability and climatic variability, which vary considerably between different regions of the country. The results demonstrate that, as expected, demographic and socio-economic characteristics of Provinces were associated with migration patterns, and that environmental variables were also significant. However, the contribution of environmental variables in the explanation of migration was slightly lower than for the socio-demographic variables. The results show that inter-provincial migrations in Burkina Faso are influenced by high literacy and economic activity rates at the origin and destination, a high proportion of men at the origin, a low proportion of men at the destination, as well as by unfavourable conditions concerning rainfall variability, land degradation and land availability at the origin, and favourable conditions at the destination for these variables. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-136
    Number of pages22
    JournalApplied Geography
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


    • migration
    • Burkina Faso
    • West Africa
    • environment
    • Poisson models
    • drought
    • desertification
    • LAND-USE
    • CHINA


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