Rural-urban Migrants’ Remittances and the Physical Health Status of the Left-behind Children in Rural Areas of Niger State, Nigeria

Bala Muktar, Mohd Razani B. Mohd Jali, Nor Azam Abdul Razak


Rural-urban migrants in Nigeria often leave their children behind in the hands of parents or non-parent caregivers, when migrating. Although most of the migrants send remittances to enhance the lives of the family, little is known about the role of such remittances in enhancing the health status of the left-behind children. Using a sample of 401 left-behind children from the rural areas of Niger State, this study investigated the impacts of rural-urban migrants’ remittances on the health status of the children. The Ordered Logit Model was used for the estimation. The result shows that a one Naira increase in remittance receipt by the left-behind family, increases the probability of the left-behind children being in the adequately nourished health category. Also, children under the care of mothers are more likely to be in the adequately nourished health category, and a year increase in the education of the caregivers increases the probability of the children being in the adequately nourished heath status. It is suggested that government should increase the breadth of the Microfinance Banks in the rural areas of the state, with a view to providing an efficient remittance transfer system to the rural left-behind households.

Keywords: Rural-urban migrants; Remittances; Left-behind children; Physical health; Ordered Logit model.

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