This article presents a multilevel analysis of rural out-migration in Ethiopia over the 1984–1994 period. Using a recent household survey carried out in the drought prone rural areas of Ethiopia, discrete-time hazard models are used to examine the impact of individual, household and community factors on migration. Incorporating a life-course and the “new economics of migration” perspectives, our findings suggest that rural out-migration in these areas can be viewed as a function of individual, household and community characteristics. We find that mobility of people for schooling in the impoverished rural communities is minimal. Migration of both sexes was possible mainly through marriage, although females tend to depart their residences more than males. Our findings also reveal substantial period effects on out-migration trends.