Migration:Causes and Examples 


(Some small extracts taken from Richmond's Geography and History textbook)

(Photographs taken from Internet))

 Migration is one of  the most distinctive and visible characteristics of  human population, and it means a reshaping of the population  distribution.

It is a dynamic process that is constantly changing Earth's landscapes and modifying its cultures.

The International Immigration and Refugee Association estimated 190 million international migrants in 2005, 3 per cent of the global population.

1. Let's distinguish two different concepts: Immigrants and Emigrants. Write in your notebook the meaning of these words and differences between them.   


   A. Migration inflow map (source: Wikipedia)

B. per capita income map

Migrations are caused for different causes:

  • social causes: religious beliefs, wars, persecutions, unemployment, ..
  • These causes can also be called pull or push factors. Try to find out what a pull or push factor is.

Migration can be voluntary or forced. 

  1. 1. Voluntary migration occurs when  people look for better living conditions.
  2. They want to escape from poverty, famine  or unemployment.
  3. This was the case of millions of Irish who emigrated to the United States in the 1840s because of the potato famine, or the millions of Somalis, Sudanese and Rwandans who moved in the 1990s because of drought, famine and war.
  1. 2. Forced migration  has happened in History. Such is the case with African Americans who were taken to North and South America in the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries to work as slave laborers on sugar, cotton and tobacco plantations. Refugees are also forced migrants because they are suffering persecution.

  Let's check how much you have learnt about migration. Try this bbc test

  We'll look at some  real examples of emigrants. You should recognize if their emigration was forced or voluntary. And then you should justify your answer explaining the causes.

Savita's story

Winnie's story

Yumba's story

M's story