Human migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling, permanently or temporarily in a new location. The movement is often over long distances and from one country to another, but internal migration is also possible, this is the dominant form globally.

People have always migrated to improve their lives. Today, movements from developing countries to other parts of the world are of intense interest to many policymakers, yet relatively little is known about the impacts of labour mobility on the people who move and their home societies.

Causes of Migration

Push Factors

The push factors refer to the poor economic conditions and the resultant economic misery or lack of opportunities for advancement which push the people out of region in search of better opportunists. Thus, the push factors compel the people to leave the place.

  • Drought (A single drought can mean disaster for communities whose lives and livelihoods rely on regular, successful harvests)
  • Hurricanes and Flooding
  • Earthquakes
  • Disease
  • War and Conflict
  • Poverty
  • Unemployment
  • Lack of safety
  • Lack of services
Pull Factors

Pull factors are those which encourage migration of people to an area where better economic and employment opportunities, facilities and amenities of life are available. These facilities attract the people to these areas. There is usually an exodus of population to the cities where rapid expansion of industries and commerce takes place.

  • Better economic opportunities
  • More jobs
  • Promise of a better life
  • Safer atmosphere
  • Fertile land
  • Greater wealth
  • Less risks of natural hazards
  • Political security
  • Better service provision

There are two basic types of migration studied by demographers.

Internal Migration

This refers to a change of residence within national boundaries, such as between states, provinces, cities, or municipalities. It includes urban to urban, urban to rural, rural to rural and rural to urban migrations.

International Migration

This refers to change of residence over national boundaries.

Impacts of Migration

Migration is becoming a very important subject for the life of cities. Many opportunities and attraction of big cities pull large numbers of people to big cities. Migration can have positive as well as negative effects on the life of the migrants.

Positive Impacts

  • Unemployment is reduced and people get better job opportunities.
  • Migration helps in improving the quality of life of people.
  • It helps to improve social life of people as they learn about new culture, customs, and languages which help to improve brotherhood among people.
  • Migration of skilled workers leads to a greater economic growth of the region.
  • Children get better opportunities for higher education.
  • The population density is reduced and the birth rate decreases.

Negative Impacts

  • The loss of a person from rural areas, impact on the level of output and development of rural areas.
  • The influx of workers in urban areas increases competition for the job, houses, school facilities etc.
  • Having large population puts too much pressure on natural resources, amenities and services.
  • It is difficult for a villager to survive in urban areas because in urban areas there is no natural environment and pure air. They have to pay for each and everything.
  • Migration changes the population of a place, therefore, the distribution of the population is uneven.
  • Many migrants are completely illiterate and uneducated, therefore, they are not only unfit for most jobs, but also lack basic knowledge and life skills.
  • Poverty makes them unable to live a normal and healthy life.
  • Children growing up in poverty have no access to proper nutrition, education or health.
  • Migration increased the slum areas in cities which increase many problems such as unhygienic conditions, crime, pollution etc.
  • Sometimes migrants are exploited.
  • Migration is one of the main causes of increasing nuclear family where children grow up without a wider family circle.



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