Economic Push and Pull Factors

Economic Push and Pull are the primary driving forces in modern migration. Between the Syrian crisis and the extreme poverty in the middle east, to job availability in Western Europe, migration is a phenomenon that is not only a result of the economy but is one that is constantly affecting the economy. Push factors are those that drive people out of their original countries, this is exemplified in the economic crisis in Burkina Faso, among other things. Pull factors are those that entice migrants to inhabit new countries, such as the booming economy in most of Western Europe (Compared to places such as Syria).

Economic Push and Pull in the Middle East

    The Lebanese economy is on the decline due in part to the Syrian Civil War. Over the last 35 years the Lebanese pound has decreased in value from 3.5 pounds making up one US Dollar, to 1507 pounds making up a Dollar. That 431% decrease in the value of the Pound contributes heavily to the mass exodus Lebanon faces. Due to the poor economy, Lebanese migration is mainly a push process of “brain drain”. Due to this the most educated men and women seek better jobs and opportunities abroad. During the period of Syrian hegemony over Lebanon, known as Pax Syriana. Middle Eastern corruption, inflation, an increase in public debt, and political persecution centered in Lebanon prevented many Lebanese refugees from returning. Of those who had stayed to try and recuperate their losses, many were forced to leave, and to try and make a new life in London or Paris.


    Europe offers unique possibilities for immigrants, and is pulling them in with it's growing economy. It is much closer to North Africa and Turkey than other immigration countries such as the United States, Canada, or Australia and can be reached without air travel. This allows for cheap travel, especially in the case of large-ish groups. Additionally, freedom of travel within Europe enables immigrants to start in the most accessible country and later make their way to their true destination. This is especially true with asylum seekers, who may arrive in Greece or Italy, for example, but then try to make their way to "easier" countries like Sweden or Norway

Economic Push and Pull in Africa

The economy is western Africa is crumbling. In 2010 the Ghana Cedis (the Ghanaian currency) held half the value of the US dollar. Today the Cedis hold only 1/4 the value of the US dollar. In Burkina Faso the unrest of government is causing the economy to become even more unsteady, and hence there is a mass circulation from Burkina Faso to Ghana due to the ever changing economy. The ground in Ghana is not very fertile due to the over tilling of the land during British colonization. Also, due to the heavy presence of the British in southern Ghana during colonization, it is very industrialized compared to the rest of the country. Hence, it is a large selling land point for western Africa. There is an economic pull to Kumasi and Accra in particular as those areas are industrialized. The Bissa and Dagomba people in particular participate in this circular migration. Due to the Sharia Law present in Burkina Faso, the women are pushed out of that area and pulled to Ghana to sell their crops. They then return to Burkina Faso to grow crops and the process repeats itself. However, this is making the economy grow ever more unsteady. If you go to Kumasi, Ghana in october there is roughly 4 million people present. If you go to Kumasi in April, there is roughly 7 million people present. The already over populated area of Southern Ghana cannot sustain the constant population surges and decreases. The locals of Kumasi attempt to make their income through leasing out their property, but they do not have long term leasers. The immigrants of Kumasi and Accra are trying to make enough money selling their crops to sustain their rent and send money back home. However, since the locals do not have a reliable, consistent income, they overcharge on leases and services to guarantee that they have enough money to sustain their families.

The economy is only getting worse. The societal and economic instability in Burkina Faso is causing the women to migrate south to sell, and then they migrate back north because of the lack of financial success, causing circulation. While the women were initially pulled to Ghana for the hopes of a better economic future, they are ultimately pushed back to Burkina Faso with less money than when they arrived.

Economic Push and Pull: India to America

In 2012 there were 127 million people unemployed in India, many of whom have college degrees, and only about 2.7 million jobs are created annually. This proved to be a big problem during the 1980s and 90s. However, this problem is becoming a lesser influence in American society, there are still millions of people who migrate to either Western Europe or America. There was an economic push and pull factor- the United States was a land of opportunity for them, and their currents home could not employ the millions of people with a college degree. This also led to a brain drain, as many of the more schooled Indians migrated to countries with a more flourishing economy.

"Lebanon Monetary Report". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 31 December 2008.