What is Migration & What Causes it
Table of Contents
Migration is the temporary or permanent ( 1 year) movement of people from source to destination. When people migrate from source to origin they may encounter obstacles or opportunities.
Types of Migration
Migration can be internal i.e occurring within a particular area or country e.g. rural to urban migration from Mberengwa to Harare (occurring within Zimbabwe) or urban to urban e.g. from Westgate to Avondale (Occurring within Harare).
It can be external movement of people out of predefined boundaries, for example Zimbabwe to South Africa or Mexico to USA or it can be considered external within predefined boundaries e.g Harare to Bulawayo but occurring within Zimbabwe (usually called out-migration). However, external migration is usually considered between countries.
♦A person who leaves a particular country to live permanent or non-permanent in the destination area is considered an emigrant.
♦ A person who arrives into another country is known as an immigrant. In the USA immigrants are considered aliens.
♦ In-migration is a person arriving in another area within the same country.
Out-migration is leaving an area within the same country.
As the name implies the migrant is forced to live his /her place of origin. The migrant has no or few choice but to leave. Natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes forces people to move.
The migrant has freedom to leave or stay. The migrant migrates at his/her own will ( not forced). For example a person may decide to visit his/her family.
A forced but voluntary migration. Usually occurs in resistant illiterate groups that refuse to leave a hazard stricken area and decide to stay.
Mostly occurs between primitive tribes e.g. the Masai Mara nomadic pastoralism .
Migration is huge determinant of population growth with countries such as South Africa having high population because of migration.
Causes of Migration
Migration is caused by two factors known as push and pull factors. Push factor is what forces people to leave a certain region to another. Usually the migrant has no choice but leave such as during the slave trade
- Natural hazards e.g. volcanoes, earthquakes, tropical storms e.t.c – Eruptions such as the 1991 Mt Pinatubo, Philippines caused major migrations e.g from Angeles City to safer regions. 7,000 residents of Montserrat fleed a volcanic eruption in the Soufriere Hills
- Famines and Drought – 2 million migrants from Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia because of famine and civil war.
- Wars and Terrorism – Many Middle Eastern people are fleeing away to become refugees in European countries due to fatal wars going on at home.
- Genocide and Xenophobia – lots of Zimbabwean migrants returned back home during the South African Xenophobic attacks.
- Endemics e.g Ebola and Cholera
- Politics – Mineral discovered areas may need to be evacuated for industrial establishment.
- economical reasons e.g lack of infrastructure, schools, hospitals, jobs etc – Urban areas have become flooded with migrants especially rural ones looking for better living.
- Social reasons such as poverty and racism
Pull factors are factors which lures someone to migrate. Generally pull factors are voluntary and not forced. The migrant can decide to live or stay. Examples include:
- Better and good services and facilities e.g schools, jobs technology, hospitals etc
- Working abroad ( sometimes forced)
- Visiting friends or relatives
- Good living standards in destination area.
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