27 10 2007

People migrate for many different reasons. These reasons can be classified as either economic, social, political or environmental:

  • Economic migration may involve moving to find work or follow a particular career path.

  • Social migration may involve moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends.

  • If someone is a political migrant they may be moving to escape political persecution or war.

  • Environmental causes of migration include natural disasters such as flooding.

Some people choose to migrate, eg someone who moves to another country to enhance their career opportunities. Some people are forced to migrate, eg someone who moves away from their home region due to war or famine.

Often those who are forced to migrate become refugees. A refugee is someone who has left their home and does not have a new home to go to. Often refugees do not carry many possessions with them and do not have a clear idea of where they may finally settle.

Push and pull factors are often used to explain why people migrate:

  • Push factors are the reasons why people leave an area, ie what pushes them away from their home. Push factors include: lack of services, lack of safety, high crime, crop failure,drought, flooding, poverty and war.

  • Pull factors are the reasons why people move to a particular area, ie what pulls them to a new place. Pull factors include: higher employment, more wealth, better services, good climate, safer, less crime, political stability, more fertile land,
    lower risk from natural hazards.

Migration usually happens as a result of a combination of these factors.

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