Economic and Environmental Effects of Rural and Urban Shrinkage Transformation Processes in Mexico

Economic and Environmental Effects of Rural and Urban Shrinkage Transformation Processes in Mexico

José G. Vargas-Hernández (University of Guadalajara, Mexico) and Adam Konto Kyari (Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7625-9.ch010
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The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the empirical-theoretical approaches to shrinking cities in Mexico. The study of tendencies in economic and environmental shrinkage is tied to the expressions of substantive changes in the complexity of determinant contexts of internal and migration flows. The method used is the critical analysis of economic, social, and political tendencies in relation to the situation of shrinking cities in Mexico. The results of this analysis led to the finding that the shrinkage process in Mexico, as a developing and emerging economy, does not follow the same patterns of well developed countries, where an increase in shrinking cities has occurred since the middle of the 1950s, and the use of incentives in some localities to attract economic growth have had modest success to turn around the shrinking process. Further research on shrinking cities should be done in Mexico. Finally, this chapter analyzes some of the important issues and problems that are important to set an agenda for future research in Mexico.
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Rural Migration

The displacements from rural areas to large urban centers are determined by the transformations of regional economies. The economic, social and political development of a country is manifested as the transformation of processes of modernization of a traditional society. The analysis of the distribution and concentration of the population is related to rural migration to urban areas due mainly, among other causes, to economic reasons to improve their material life. Economic development is related to the demographic behavior that influences social relations and forms of production.

Rural economies are considered incomplete economies because the conditions for sustained economic growth do not exist due to lack of intermediaries and rural financial markets. Ledent (1982) analyzes the behavior of the movements of the population from rural to urban areas showing that this mobility increases or decreases depending on economic development. Where the rural area is economically developed, the region experiences a decrease in the migration rate. Migration from rural areas to urban centers has been considered as the main trend of the last century in México. According to the INEGI (2010), a population is considered rural when it has less than 2 500 inhabitants while the urban one is where more than 2,500 people live. The process of rural development in Mexico has undergone profound transformations in such a way that they laid the foundations for the creation of conditions that allowed the spatial mobility of the rural population with rural migration to urban centers.

Rural migration flows have an effect on the structure and dynamics of the population. Rural migration is one of the components of demographic dynamics that modifies spatial relationships giving rise to population concentrations in urban and metropolitan areas. In the mobility of the population from rural areas to urban and metropolitan areas, the friction of distance is relevant. Rural-urban migration in Mexico has implications for the decrease in the rural population and growth in the urban population.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Rural: Of the field and of the own works of the agriculture and the cattle ranch.

Transformation: Action to transform or changing.

Shrinkage: Reduce the extent, intensity, or number of something.

Countryside: A countryside is a broad land with land that is used for farming.

Migration: Population movement that consists of leaving the place of residence to settle in another country or region, usually for economic or social reasons.

Mexican: Relating to Mexico, country of North America, or its inhabitants.

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