What is Migration and its consequences?

Causes of International migration.


Today, many people have to move from one place to another due to many reasons. In geographical terms, it is known as migration. Many of us have heard this term but, only a few people know what is migration? So, in this article, I will discuss what is migration and its consequences, what causes migration and the different types of migration.


Migration is a form of spatial mobility of the population between one geographical unit and another involving a permanent change of residence. It is most fundamental to the understanding of continuously changing spatial and regional geography of an area. Migration has many consequences, which have been discussed below.

It is an Instrument of cultural diffusion and social integration that yields a more meaningful redistribution of population. Of the three components of population change, Migration holds a prominent role. It may be internal and International.

Difference between mobility and migration?

Mobility is a more general term, which includes all types of movements of people. It may be permanent, semi-permanent and temporary. Temporary Movements are either cyclic or periodic movements. A cyclic movement includes short-duration trips to Place of Work. Whereas, migration is a permanent move.

Types of migration?

It has two categories. These categories are internal and external migration or out-migration.

Internal migrations- When it is across national boundary it is called Inter-national migration. And if, within the national boundary, it is termed as Internal Migration.

International Migrations- In this case, the departure of an individual from a country is termed as Emigration, while arrival into a country is known as Immigration; whereas in case of internal migration, the equivalent terms are Out-migrations and In-migrations.

Other types of migrations

Figure-3 Other types of migration

Causes of Migrations

Migration is a very complex phenomenon. The migration of the population in any region is determined, to a large extent by the Perception and behaviour of individuals concerned. Factors controlling migration vary from area to area. But also the significance of the same factor varies from person to person.

The causes of migration can be broadly divided into push and pull factors.

Push factors in the source region compel the people to move out to the other areas. Pull factors attracts people to move into an area.

Push factors

  • Lack of employment or seasonal employment.
  • Poverty induced migrations.
  • Migrations due to climate-related stress or natural calamities.
  • Social, political or religious oppression.
  • Overcrowding, lack of sanitation and resource crunch.
  • Crime induced migrations.
  • Post marriage and family network induced migrations.

Pull factors

  • Urbanization and better employment opportunities in cities.
  • Better living standards in the destination place.
  • Better educational and health opportunities.

The stimuli for migrations may be social, economic, political or demographic.

1. Economic- It is the prime reason for emigration. The unavailability of jobs compels the youths to leave their native place for places having adequate job opportunities. It is prevalent both at the regional and international levels.

2. Overpopulation- Overpopulation can be defined as an excess of population in an area in relation to resources and available technology. Overpopulation is the most important cause of emigration in the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

3. Socio-religious causes- In every period of human history, social factors led to large scale emigration. Some of the examples are, the emigration of Jews from Germany, Muslims from Bosnia and Serbia and Myanmar, Kashmiri Pundits from J&K, etc.

4. Demographic causes- The availability of information through education, cultural contacts, and spatial interaction also increases the chances of population migration. The communities having orthodoxy, conservatism, traditions, and customs are less mobile. On the other hand, communities who are more awakened have more contacts and exposures with the outside world

5. Government policy- The government policy also favorably or adversely affects the pattern of population migration. Developed countries have specific population policies and most of them discourage immigrations.

Consequences of migration

  • It has a deep impact on society, economy, and environment at both places of origin and destination.
  • The places of origin, as well as the place of destination both, undergo a Qualitative and Quantitative change in their demographic structure.
  • In general, People migrate out from the crowded and overpopulated regions to the areas of the scanty population with a strong resource base.
  • It leads to the reallocation of human resources to achieve a better balance between human resources and physical resources.
  • It may enhance the capacity to exploit its resource potential.
  • The out-migration of the educated and technically trained people into an area may improve the literacy rate and quality of life in the region.
  • Due to this, the absolute number of the population get transformed
  • An increase in density, fertility, mortality, age, sex, literacy, and occupational structure also transforms.
  • The immigrants bring with them their language, religion, and cultural values. They also try to preserve their religion, culture, language, and customs.
  • When the people having different languages stay together, integration and amalgamation of people may become a serious problem.
  • Dietary habits and dressings of people are also substantially influenced. For Example, Indians and Chinese who migrated to the U.K opened the restaurants and hotels. They also serve the dishes of their countries. Hence, dishes like Idli and Biryani are becoming popular among the British.

Thus, we can say that the migrations bring about a wholesome change in all spheres of life.

Rajneesh Kumar Thakur: