Transcript File

Ch.3 Key Issue 1

Why Do People Migrate?

What is Migration?

A type of mobility/movement that involves leaving home

Cyclic movement (commuting/seasonal movement- “Snow Birds”)

Periodic movement (migrant labor, attending college)


Immigration (In)

Emigration (Out)


Movement resulting in permanent relocation

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Results in relocation diffusion Multiple types:

International (transnational)





11 “laws” makes up Geography’s study of migration

3 main categories

Why immigrants move

Distance they typically move


Main Laws of Ravenstein

1. Majority of migrants move a short distance 2. Longer traveling migrants mostly choose big city destinations 3. Urbanites are less likely to migrate than rural peoples 4. Families are less likely to make international moves than young adults

Ravenstein (see Kuby activity)

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Gravity model

Interaction is based on population and distance-

Likely to travel further if destination is a large populated city (Law #3) Distance decay

Number of migrants decreases as the distance they have to travel increases (inverse relationship)

Affects pull factors- is it really worth it?

Reasons for Migrating

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Migration is either forced or voluntary

Not always a clear distinction

Potato famine in Ireland (forced) but Irish chose to go to US (voluntary)

Push/pull factors with voluntary migration ONLY Who chooses if a family/household migrates voluntarily?

Gendered power relationships and family responsibilities

Men are more mobile, migrate farther than women

Men have more choices/chances of work

Reasons for Migrating

Forced migration- involuntary movement

Atlantic slave trade

Transmitted culture (i.e. relocation diffusion): Caribbean, Brazil

Britain shipping convicts to Australia

“Trail of Tears” and other uprooting of Native Americans, forcing onto reservations

Jews during the Holocaust

Countermigration- returning illegal immigrants to home country


Reasons for migrating voluntarily

There are reasons why people move from a country (source) to another (destination) voluntarily Push and Pull factors: 1. Economic 2. Cultural 3. Environmental

Push vs Pull

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Migrants will perceive push factors more clearly since it is the conditions in which they are experiencing Pull factors can be misinterpreted since they are based on things heard, read or believed to be true about a destination country rather than experiences

Economic push/pull

Most people migrate for economic reasons

Push and pull factors

Economic: people move away (pushed) from places with poor economic opportunities and (pulled) toward places with better ones

Economic Conditions – Migrants will often risk their lives in hopes of economic opportunities that will enable them to send money home (remittances) to their family members who remain behind.

Cultural push/pull

Cultural factors

Forced migration (e.g., slavery, refugees)

Political factors (democracies vs. dictatorships)

Communist governments and dictators Vietnam, Uganda, Cuba (“Mariel Boatlift”)

Forced Migration – the Atlantic Slave Trade

Environmental Conditions

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Potato famine in Ireland Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans If event is bad enough, return might be impossible

Montserrat Volcano- 10,000 to 3,000.

Environmental Conditions – In Montserrat, a 1995 volcano made the southern half of the island, including the capital city of Plymouth, uninhabitable. People who remained migrated to the north or to the U.S.

***Other Push/pull factors

Armed conflict and War

Yugoslavia conflicts, Rwanda, Sudan

• • –

Threatening culture and traditions Partition of India into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan

Whites leaving South Africa after apartheid ended Technological Advances spur migration

Transportation instead of walking, fast news about far places

Kinship links- communication between relatives

Chain migration- migrating to where your family is

Immigration waves- multiple chains of migration

Step Migration

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Migration appears on maps as a long flow, but is really a series of stages Move from village/small town, to town, to city then to a metropolis Migrants face new set of pull factors at each “step” Most face an intervening opportunity along the way

Intervening Opportunity

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At one of the steps toward the destination, pull factors encourage the migrant to settle at a particular place. EX: During the Great Migration of African Americans north to find work after WWI, many found work along the way in St. Louis—never made it destinations of Chicago and Cleveland

Intervening Obstacles

Historically these have been environmental (mnt., ocean, etc.)

Improved transportation methods have alleviated Now, local diversity in gov’ts are intervening obstacles.


Strict immigration laws


Distance of Migration

Internal migration

Most immigration is internal

Interregional migration = movement from one region to another

Intraregional migration = movement within a region

Distance of Migration

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International Migration


Forced International migrants leave stage 2 countries of the dem. tran. for stage 3 and 4 countries; Internal migration is more important for countries in stages 3 and 4 (cities to suburbs).

Voluntary Migration – Migrants weigh push and pull factors to decide first, to emigrate from the home country and second, where to go.

Distance Decay weighs into the decision to migrate, leading many migrants to move less far than they originally contemplate (steps within the flow).

Global Migration Patterns

Characteristics of Migrants

Most long-distance migrants are




Families with children = less likely to migrate long distances

Characteristics of Migrants


Traditionally, males outnumbered females

In the United States today, just over half of immigrants are female

Family status

In the United States today, most immigrants are young adults, aged 25–39 (working age!)

***Important to remember

Whenever people migrate, the cultural landscape of both the source country and the destination are changed.

People take their culture with them to their new place (relocation diffusion)

We’ve talked about some changes already but keep your eyes open for more examples in the rest of this chapter!