A majority of Ugandans in rural areas are considering or have considered migrating to urban areas, mostly for economic and service delivery reasons, while those in urban areas are less satisfied with public services and less engaged in the democratic governance process than their rural counterparts. Recent data shows a marked difference in the status of social services between urban and rural areas, with rural areas lagging far behind urban areas on quality of services and presence of physical service delivery infrastructure.
Urban areas not only have more schools, health facilities, police stations, market places or better road surfaces, but these are also concentrated in a much smaller area, and thus are more accessible. Not only are health, education or communications services reported to be of better quality in urban areas, but the service is more reliable and there appears to be a window of economic opportunity for everyone. In rural areas, it is common knowledge that urban areas have better public service provision, and provide better economic opportunities.
There is a greater perceived potential for paid work and (formal) employment in urban areas than in rural areas, with many in rural areas convinced they only need to step into the urban to find better work. Data also shows that urban dwellers report higher and more regular incomes than their rural counterparts. But are these services and economic opportunities indeed better in urban than in rural areas?