Migration is the movement of people from one permanent home to another. This movement changes the population of a place. International migration is the movement from one country to another.
People who leave their country are said to emigrate. People who move into another country are called immigrants. The movement of people into a country is known as immigration.
Every year some people leave the UK and move abroad. At the same time some people will move into the UK. Immigrants add to the total population and emigrants are subtracted from the total.
Sometimes people just move from one region to another within the same country. In many developing countries, large numbers of people have moved from the countryside to the cities in recent years. This is called rural to urban migration.
Why do people migrate?
Sometimes people have a choice about whether they move, but sometimes they are forced to move. The reasons people leave a place are called the push factors. The reasons people are attracted to new places to live are called the pull factors.
Advantages and disadvantages of migration
Migration can bring advantages and disadvantages to the country which is losing people and also to the host country.
Country losing people:
a) Money sent home by migrants.
b) Decreases pressure on jobs and resources.
c) Migrants may return with new skills.
a) People of working age move out reducing the size of the country’s potential workforce.
b) Gender imbalances are caused as it is typically men who seek to find employment elsewhere. Women and children are left.
c) ‘Brain drain’ if many skilled workers leave.
a) A richer and more diverse culture.
b) Helps to reduce any labour shortages.
c) Migrants are more prepared to take on low paid, low skilled jobs.
a) Increasing cost of services such as health care and education.
c) Disagreements between different religions and cultures.
In addition, there are a number of obstacles that the migrant may need to overcome, including:
- Unemployment in new country
- Racism and cultural differences
- Language barriers
- Lack of opportunities