What is migration and why do people migrate?

Migration in geography is the movement of humans from one place to another for social, economic, political or environmental reasons. Migration can be:

  • internal, where people move from place to another within a country
  • rural to urban, where people move from the countryside to an urban area
  • urban to rural, where people move from a built-up area to the countryside
  • international, where migrants move from one country to another
  • voluntary, where migrants choose to move
  • involuntary, where migrants have no choice but to move
  • temporary, when the migrant moves for a short period of time
  • permanent, when people do not move back

Migration occurs as a result of push and pull factors. Push factors make a person want to move from an area, while pull factors attract migrants to an area.

Examples of push factors include:

  • War
  • Civil war
  • Drought and famine
  • Low wages
  • Lack of jobs
  • Natural disasters
  • Persecution
  • Lack of educational opportunities
  • Lack of effective health care
  • The high cost of living
  • Pollution
  • Environmental disaster

Examples of pull factors include:

  • Employment opportunities
  • Better healthcare
  • Education opportunities
  • Improved standard of living
  • Safety/less crime
  • Higher wages
  • Greater political stability/tolerance
  • Bright lights syndrome, where people are attracted to cities by the belief they will have a better lifestyle compared to living in a rural area
  • Availability of food supplies
  • Better housing
  • More attractive living environment

Economic migrants are those who move for money. Refugees are people migrating to escape an event such as natural disaster, war or drought and famine.

Internet Geography Plus

Premium Resources

Please Support Internet Geography

If you've found the resources on this page useful please consider making a secure donation via PayPal to support the development of the site. The site is self-funded and your support is really appreciated.

Related Topics

Use the images below to explore related GeoTopics.

Topic Home

What are the impacts of migration?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This