Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!
Print

Geography

Migration trends

Why do people migrate?

People migrate for many different reasons. These reasons can be classified as economic, social, political or environmental:

  • economic migration - moving to find work or follow a particular career path
  • social migration - moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends
  • political migration - moving to escape political persecution or war
  • environmental causes of migration include natural disasters such as flooding

Some people choose to migrate, eg someone who moves to another country to enhance their career opportunities. Some people are forced to migrate, eg someone who moves due to war or famine.

A refugee is someone who has left their home and does not have a new home to go to. Often refugees do not carry many possessions with them and do not have a clear idea of where they may finally settle.

Push and pull factors

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

  • lack of services
  • lack of safety
  • high crime
  • crop failure
  • drought
  • flooding
  • poverty
  • war

Pull factors are 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

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

Migration push and pull factors

Migration push and pull factors

Back to Migration index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.