The factors that influenced migration decisions in a nineteenth century rural-traditional area of the Netherlands are assessed. This is done in a micro-setting. Applying a new data set with individual characteristics of both migrants and non-migrants a logit-model is estimated. The analysis supports the revisionist and relatively positive picture of the standard of living in pre-modern rural-traditional areas. Instead of hunger driving the masses away from these areas, it seems to have tied rationally acting people to a socio-economic system that contained buffer mechanisms to cope with short run stresses.