Is there an example of law that’s permits the inter country migration specially form rural to Urban areas.

In developing countries it’s a major issue that population from rural areas migrate to much more developed cities within country, which by time makes the city’s population grow uncontrollably. More that its infrastructure can support.

Plus most of the times these people lives in slums and other non-regularized areas without any tax cover and harboring criminal elements.

So I want to know is there a country that has made any such law that can stop people from migrating from one place to another with in one country?

  • 1
    I'm going to guess China as a prime candidate. USSR had such rules before (Google "Propiska")
    – user4012
    Jul 30 '14 at 21:13
  • 1
    @DVK USSR had no such rules, but it had another mechanism that I will describe in the answer.
    – Anixx
    Jul 31 '14 at 6:19
  • @Anixx - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – user4012
    Jul 31 '14 at 13:56
  • There were a few states that tried it in the late 1800's but they were all struck down as unconstitutional because they intended to deny voting rights to people moving to those states to either get away from the destruction in the south, or carpetbagging by yankees in the south. Jul 31 '14 at 17:22

I do not know whether it fits your question, but consider the USSR. While there was no such law that explicitely prohibited migration, most people could not sell or buy or rent the realty by their choice because all flats in multy-storey buildings were state-owned.

In theory one could make an agreement on flat exchange, but to do so you had to find somebody who wanted to move to the location where you lived before. Thus the net migration to a city would be zero because if one moves in, the other moves out of it.

One could also buy a house, but private houses were mostly located in rural areas, outside of big cities.

There were other options of course, for instance one could buy a flat built by a cooperative, but for all kinds of property there was the same strict regulation on whom you can allow to live with you (only close relatives) and how many people can live in a given space.

Finally one could of course rent an apartment in a hotel, but this again would be very expensive for an average citizen to live for a long time.

Of course, the population of big cities was often growing very fast in the USSR, but this happened mostly following the official rules so that people populated state built and owned flats, according the established standard norm of population density, which specified the number of sq meters of living room per person.

Those living in a place unofficially could be fined badly and otherwise punished.


China has a family registration system called the hukou system for residence in large cities. Basically, a person (or family) isn't supposed to live in such a city unless registered there (although there are plenty of people who reside illegally, and "off the books.")

  • That is intended to monitor and track residence more than preventing movement is it not? Jul 31 '14 at 19:05
  • @Chad: You can't "move" without a residence permit in the new location.
    – Tom Au
    Jul 31 '14 at 21:43
  • Is it difficult to get that permit? I guess that part is missing from your answer. If you explain it better I think this might be a good answer. Aug 1 '14 at 0:35
  • @Chad supposing the Chinese system is similar to the Soviet one, you can register in your flat only your close relatives and no more than the official norm of people per square meter. Other than that there is no limitation. But you cannot register a guy from the street who pays you (and additionally if the flat is state owned, collecting money from somebody for living there would be totally illegal income).
    – Anixx
    Aug 16 '14 at 18:10
  • @Chad except that a major difference between modern China and the USSR is that migrants living without registration illegally was not common in the USSR (except unregistered couples of lovers, usually from the same city). I think this is because you actually could not find a job in another city without registration. All enterprises being state-owned you simply would have only one option, to find a job legally.
    – Anixx
    Aug 16 '14 at 18:15

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