• rural–urban migration;
  • housing conditions;
  • health knowledge;
  • smoking;
  • general and mental health;
  • Dhaka;
  • Bangladesh

The magnitude of rural–urban migration in Bangladesh is increasing. Rapid urbanisation and a growing number of slums (dominated by migrants) pose many challenges to health. To our knowledge, studies regarding internal migration and health are scarce and results are mixed. Therefore, we compared several aspects, namely: housing, health knowledge, smoking, mental and general health, for three groups of migrants, designated urban natives/urban to urban migrants (UN/UU), rural to urban migrants (RU) and rural natives/rural to rural migrants (RN/RR). Results based on a sample of 5,136 adults indicated that the majority of respondents were less than 50 years old, female, married and uneducated. The percentages of UN/UU, RU and RN/RR migrants were 9.6, 69.2 and 21.3, respectively. As both bivariable and multivariable analyses indicated greater vulnerability among RU migrants in terms of the above-mentioned aspects, this particular group deserves more attention from policy-makers and other stakeholders. Some implications are also discussed.

Key Practitioner Message: ● This study provides information regarding internal migration and explains push–pull factors in Bangladesh;It provides evidence regarding greater vulnerability in terms of health and other determinants among rural–urban migrants living in Dhaka slums;Lastly, the study justifies the importance of intervention strategies targeting poor migrants in urban slums in developing countries.