Types and Causes of MigrationThis is a featured page

You need to be able to

  • Classify migration by motivations, duration and whether international or intranational (internal)
  • Evaluate the extent to which migration examples fit with Ravenstein's Laws and Lee's Migration Model
  • Identify examples of different types of migrations around the world
What is Migration?
Migration is the movement of people from one place to another.Types and Causes of Migration - ISMibgeo2012 Migration can be international (movement between different countries) or intra-national (movement within a country, often from rural to urban areas).
Migration has become a common trend and more people are migrating than any other point of the history. People migrate in many different ways and for many different reasons. People move in order to improve their standard of living, to give their children better opportunities, or to escape from poverty, conflict and famine. Today, with modern transportation and communications, more people are motivated and able to move.

The image on the right shows an example of migration taking place -- in a tremendously wide scale. One of the most probable reason for the migration that is taking in the picture is because of push factors which are forcing/strongly encouraging people from moving from one area to another (e.g. a natural disaster, war, the like)

Why do people Migrate?

People migrate for numerous reasons: economic, social, political or environmental.

  • Economic motivation: In search for work, better pay or to pursue a particular career path.
  • Social motivation: Moving some where for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends.
  • Political motivation: Moving to escape political, religious or ethnic persecution, or conflict.
  • Environmental motivation: In order to escape natural disasters such as flooding or drought.

The following picture shows the main Push & Pull factors that cause migration internationally or internally.

Types and Causes of Migration - ISMibgeo2012

Intra-national (internal) Migration?

Intra-national migration refers to a change of residence within national boundaries, such as between states, provinces, cities, or municipalities. An internal migrant is someone who moves to a different administrative territory. One very good example --studied in class, already -- include: Filipinos living in rural areas emigrating to urban areas (e.g. Manila).

International Migration?

Internatinal migration refers to change of residence over national boundaries. An international migrant is someone who moves to a different country. International migrants are further classified as legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, and refugees. Legal immigrants are those who moved with the legal permission of the receiver nation, illegal immigrants are those who moved without legal permission, and refugees are those crossed an international boundary to escape persecution. One possible example of international migration include a case study performed in class where Filipinos migrate to the U.K.

Migration Models

There are two main migration models -- Lee's migration model and Ravenstein's laws.

1. Lee's Migration Model

There are real and perceived advantages and disadvantages of moving to a new place over living in your current destination. People move according to this balance between push and pull factors. Sometime people do not get to where they intended to go to as they find somewhere that offers new opportunities on the way.

2. Ravenstein's Laws

a) Most migrants only move short distances (distance decay)
b) Migrants who travel long distances move to the largest city (because it has the most obvious opportunities)
c) Migration occurs in stages
d) People in rural areas are far more likely to migrate than those in urban areas
e) Most international migrants are male adults
f) Most internal migrants are female adults
g) Most migrations are for money
h) Each migration produces a counter flow of migrants

Here is a slide summarising the various Migration Models:

And here is a simplified video (comic which is mean for entertainment purposes with no solid data) of a migration problem that occured due to a massive influx of Europeans in the Americas region. A 'solution' to the migration problem is also provided in the comic but is purely made up:

Works Cited

"BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Why Do People Migrate?" BBC - Homepage. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/population/migrationrev2.shtml.

"Migration - Types Of Migration." Web. 29 Sept. 2010. http://family.jrank.org/pages/1169/Migration-Types-Migration.html.

"Migration Of People." QwickStep Answers Search Engine. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. http://qwickstep.com/search/migration-of-people.html.

"What Is Migration?" The Tearfund International Learning Zone. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <http://tilz.tearfund.org/Publications/Footsteps 71-80/Footsteps 78/What is migration.htm>.


The movement of persons from one country or locality to another.

Migration into a place (especially migration to a country of which you are not a native in order to settle there).

*Push factor:
Pressures which persuade a person to move away from an area.

*Pull factor:
Those which attract the migrant to a particular destination.

Beginning: the place where something begins, where it springs into being.

Finish: the place designated as the end.

Someone who has left their home and does not have a new home to go to.

*Voluntary Migration:
People migrating out of their free will and choice.

*Forced Migration:
People migrating by force, not out of their own choice.

*International Migration:
The migration of people across country borders.

*Intra-national Migration:
A change of residence from one settlement unit to another within the same county.

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