People are moving from place to place more than ever before. Rates of international migration are increasing, and more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. Many personal, economic, and environmental factors drive migration, and the pressures of population growth often contribute to individuals’ decisions to move. Improving the status of women through increased access to reproductive health care in rural and urban areas can affect migration and urbanization trends by reducing demand for public services and increasing employment and economic opportunities.

Population growth and high fertility rates in rural and urban areas will have significant impacts on migration, economic development and the environment. Migration and urbanization trends should be considered in plans to address workforce shortages in countries that send and receive large numbers of internal and international migrants. As urbanization continues, the infrastructure for health and other social services in cities needs to improve, and resources should be used more efficiently to meet the needs of growing populations.

Improving access to family planning and reproductive health care services in both rural and urban areas can help address some of factors that contribute to migration and urbanization, as well as benefit individuals, communities and the environment.