Migration: Meaning, Types, Causes, Effects and Economic Importance of Migration

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Photo of Migration: Meaning, Types, Causes, Effects and Economic Importance of Migration

Migration might be seasonal, ranging from a period of one year to two years or it might even be permanent. There are countless of reasons why immigrants choose to migrate from their point of origin to point of destination; people would naturally move from areas of poverty or areas of poor prospect to areas that are presumed to have opportunities. The push areas are generally areas of population pressures whether densely or sparsely populated.

Migration Definition

Migration is defined as the geographic movement of people across a specified boundary for the purpose of establishing a new permanent or semi-permanent residence or it is the movement of people from one place to live in another. People may decide to migrate as individuals, in family units or inlarge groups. Poverty may not be the main reason for migration, as other factors could trigger this, in this case, the migrant may be a very young agile person, very educated wishing to breakout for a while from the social constrains of the family or village. The migrant may be compelled to participate in the migrant labour which is considered as an adult initiation. However, migration, whether internal or international, has a profound effect on economic development, which could be negative or positive.

Types of Migration

There are two major types of migration which are:

  1. Internal migration– this is when people move within national boundaries such as with a country, state or city. It is also referred to as internal mobility.
  2. International migration- this is when people move outside the national boundaries or internationally from one country to another.
  • Emigration – this is the movement of people out of a country. An international migrant who departs to another country by crossing the international boundary is called Emigrant.
  • Immigration– this is when people move inwardly from their places of destinations into other countries. A person who enters an area by crossing the international boundary is called an Immigrant.

Forms of Migration

  1. RuralUrban Migration: this type of migration has to do with movement of people from the various villages to towns and cities
  2. Urban-Rural Migration: this refers to the movement of people from towns, cities to villages.
  3. Rural-Rural Migration: this is the movement people from one village to another village, this type of migration often occurs in areas where the soil is very fertile for agricultural purposes. Rural-rural migration may occur in villages where there is inter-tribal war and insecurities.
  4. Urban-Urban Migration: this is the movement of people from one city to another city.
  5. International Migration: this has to do with movement of people internationally, from one country to another.

Reasons for Migration

Push factorsare the reasons why people leave an area. They include:

  • Lack of services
  • Lack of safety
  • High crime
  • Crop failure
  • Drought
  • Flooding
  • Poverty
  • War

Pull factorsare the reasons why people move to a particular area. They include:

  • Higher employment
  • More wealth
  • Better services
  • Good climate
  • Safer, less crime
  • Political stability
  • More fertile land
  • Lower risk from natural hazards

Causes of Migration

Migration usually happens as a result of a combination of these push and pull factors.

  • People migrate from point of origin to point of destination to especially from rural to urban to improve their standard of living.
  • People may migrate internally from their home to another place because of natural disaster or civil disturbance, this type of migrant is described to as arefugee, however, refugees do not carry many possessions with them and do not have a clear idea of where they may finally settle.
  • Environmental factors result in large population movements In situations of famine or some other major environmental disasters, rural populations may be forced to move to urban areas in search of food and employment or other means of livelihood.
  • To escape from religious, political or social situation in a country, in the this case, the migrant seeking refuge from political, religious or other forms of persecution is usually described as an asylum seeker.
  • People also migrate to the city for educational reasonand to also acquire new skills.
  • Favorable climates are another factor that triggers people to migrate.
  • For the sake of differences in social amenities.
  • For the sake of change and adventure.

Effects of Migration

Migration can have a range of social, cultural, political and economic effects. It involves transfer of knowledge and skills, financial assets (including remittances), and the transfer of people from one location to another.

  • Brain drain occurs when significant numbers of highly skilled nationals leave their countries of origin to seek employment or establish businesses abroad. Migration has a huge negative effect on the economies of developing countries, because the skills of remaining nationals are not sufficient to grow industries, academia and other sectors of the economy.
  • Brain waste occurs when skilled migrants engage in menial occupations abroad, resulting in deskilling.
  • The absence of young men in the areas of origin impoverish agriculture and reduces crops yield.
  • Migration also has consequences for the individual, the area of origin and the area of destination- on the family, household, society, the economy and development as a whole.
  • The effect of international migration is not limited to remittances and cash inflows alone. It includes a wide range of development issues governance and legal protection, employment and social, protection, health services and education, tertiary education, knowledge and skills development, economic growth, financial services and growth, agriculture and rural infrastructural development, and environment issues.
  • Sudden mass relocation or displacement has an adverse environmental effects on the migrant host area. This usually occurs directly when immigrants deforest expanse of land to set up human settlements or indirectly when the influx of immigrants to a community contributes to expansion and consequently gentrification and deforestation.
  • The environmental impact of protracted overexploitation of natural resources, prolonged indiscriminate disposal of wastes, and other unwholesome environmental practices pose a significant hazard to the immigrants themselves and also to residents in proximity to such a settlement.

Economic Importance of Migration

  • Returning migrants may spread health-related knowledge and good practices through the high-quality training they received overseas.
  • Brain gain can be achieved through the return of individuals who gained skills abroad through temporary migration.
  • They may also introduce new practices, procedures and medical training. Migrants may also establish health facilities, such as clinics and hospitals, with the proceeds of their sojourn overseas. Indeed, for instance in Nigeria, many medical doctors who departed from Nigeria in the 1970s and 1980s have come back to set up their own facilities upon their return to the country.
  • Migration helps to reduce the pressure on social amenities within one geographical region
  • Migration helps to promote cultural integrity.
  • It creates wide rand of market and also aid in the supply of labour.
  • It helps to reduce pressure on the limited agricultural lands.
  • It ensures the flow of capital.