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CHAPTER 6: Where and Why People Move

Population Notes

CHAPTER 6:  Where and Why People Move


1)       Factors that stimulate migration:  conflict, economic conditions, political strife, cultural circumstances, environmental change, and technological advances.

2)       Migrants move on basis of their perceptions of particular destinations; distance affects accuracy of perception.

3)       Migration usually takes place in stages.  Rural-to-urban movement occurs in steps, often from smaller to larger centers.  Migrants tend to relocate repeatedly after reaching their destination.

4)       Voluntary migrants are stimulated by “pull” as well as “push” factors.

5)       Forced migrations result from the imposition of power by stronger peoples over weaker ones. 

I.   Perception and Migration

    A.  Absolute and relative distance

               1.   Absolute distance can be read on a map or globe

               2.   Relative distance can be changed by using an alternate route to get someplace—time factor

               3.   People's perceptions of both distance and direction are often greatly distorted

II. External and internal migration

         A.  Migration defined as: the long-term relocation of an individual, household, or group to a new location outside the community of origin

               1.   In the United States, natural increase of population is substantially lower than the overall growth which includes immigration from other countries

               2.   When migrants move from country to country, they become part of the vital statistics

         B.   Countries experience well-defined streams of internal migration that change over time

               1.   In the United States, African-Americans moved north during the early twentieth century

               2.   The attraction of the “sunbelt” in the United States

               3.   In China workers migrate from rural areas to cities of the Pacific Rim

   III. Theories about migration

         A.  Ravenstein’s “laws” of migration

               1.   Net migration amounts to a fraction of the gross migration between two places

               2.   The majority of migrants move a short distance

               3.   Migrants who move longer distances tend to choose big-city destinations

               4.   Urban residents are less migratory than inhabitants of rural areas

               5.   Families are less likely to make international moves than young adults

         B.   Gravity model defined

    IV.  Catalysts of migration

         A.  Economic conditions

               1.   Poverty

               2.   Perceived opportunities in destinations

         B.   Political circumstances

               1.   Oppressive regimes

               2.   Cuba

               3.   Vietnam's "boat people"

               4.   Uganda

         C.   Armed conflict and civil war

               1.   Three million people driven from their homes in former Yugoslavia

               2.   Civil war in Rwanda

         D.  Environmental conditions

               1.   Potato famine in Ireland in the 1840s

               2.   Major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

               3.   Many emigrants return home after the crisis is over

         E.   Culture and tradition

               1.   Muslims migrated out of India when it was partitioned

               2.   Jews left the former Soviet Union for Israel

               3.   Whites left South Africa during the turbulent political transition of the 1990s

         F.   Technological advances

               1.   Modern transportation makes migration easier

               2.   Air conditioning reduced return migration from the Sunbelt back to the north

         G.   Flow of information

               1.   Fast transmission of information by television, radio, and telephone

               2.   Allows people to migrate where jobs are available

               3.   Examples: Turks, Algerians, Haitians

         H.  "Push" and "pull" factors

               1.   Usually push and pull factors are combined in a person's decision to migrate

               2.   Push factors

                     a)   Likely to be more accurately perceived

                     b)   Include individual and personal considerations

               3.   Pull factors

                     a)   Likely to be more vague

                     b)   Many move on the basis of excessively positive images and expectations

         I.    A Sense of Scale box: Factors Influencing Migration

         J.    Distance decay (Figure 6-1)

               1.   Migrants more likely to have an accurate perception of nearer places

               2.   Less certainty about further away places

               3.   Step migration

                     a)   Migrants may move to a near place first than move farther as they learn more about a location further away

                     b)   Movement may be to a village, then a town, and finally a city

                     c)   At each step new pull factors come into play

         K.  Intervening opportunity

               1.   Migrants may find opportunity before reaching their original destination

               2.   This happens to the majority of migrants around the world

               3.   Tourists (temporary migrants) also respond to this factor

                     a)   May choose a closer place to vacation because of travel costs

                     b)   A constant worry of long-range travel resorts

   V. Voluntary and forced migrations

         A.  Luxury of choice and fear of compulsion

               1.   Distinction not always clear-cut

                     a)   Potato famine in Ireland

                     b)   British colonial rule over Ireland

         B. Forced migrations

               1.   The Transatlantic Slave Trade

                     a)   Estimated 12 to more than 30 million Africans removed from their homes (Figure 6-2)

                     b)   Largest number were brought to plantations in the Caribbean and eastern South America

                     c)   African slaves were brought to the United States in far fewer numbers

                     d)   By 1800 the black population in the United States was just 1 million (misprinted in the text as 1900)

                     e)   Nothing in human history compares to the Transatlantic Slave Trade

               2.   Convicts shipped from Britain to Australia beginning in 1788

               3.   In the 1800s, thousands of Native Americans were forced onto reservations

               4.   Forced migration during Stalin's ruthless rule in the former Soviet Union

                     a)   Millions of non-Russians sent to Central Asia and Siberia

                     b)   Accused of treason or obstruction of the communist grand design

               5.   Forced migration exists today in the form of counter-migration, when governments send back migrants caught entering their countries illegally

         C.   Voluntary migration

               1.   All voluntary migration flows generate a return

               2.   Any voluntary migration flow represents the numbers going from the source to the

                     destination minus those returning to the source

 VI.  Types of movement

         A.  Activity space

               1.   Daily routine

               2.   Magnitude varies in different societies

               3.   Technology has expanded daily activity spaces

         B.   Three types of human movement

               1.   Cyclic movement

                     a)   Commuting

                     b)   Seasonal

                     c)   Nomadism

               2.   Periodic

               3.   Migratory

VII.  The migration process

         A   Major modern migrations pre-1950 (Figure 6-3)

         B.   European emigration

               1.   Among the greatest migration in recent history was from Europe to the Americas

               2.   Perhaps as many as 75 million people left Europe

         C.   African forced migration

               1.   Slaves brought to the Caribbean

               2.   Most of West Africa was exploited during the taking of slaves

               3.   Cultural and ethnic geography of Brazil, Middle America, and the United States was changed by importation of slaves from Africa

               4.   British transported “indentured” workers from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to East and South Africa

               5.   British relocated Asians to Caribbean countries

               6.   Example of Chinese in Southeast Asia (Figure 6-4)

   VIII. External and internal migrations

         A.  Interregional migrations—people moving or being moved from one geographic realm to another

         B.   Internal migrations

               1.   In the United States, has carried the center of population westward and southward

                     (Figure 6-5)

               2.   African-Americans moved northward during World War I

                     a)   Most came from rural areas

                     b)   Starting in the 1970s more were leaving the North and returning to the South

                     c)   Changed civil rights conditions

                     d)   Perceived economic opportunities in the growing cities of the South

               3.   Eastward migration in Russia

                     a)   Many moved from the heartland to the shores of the Pacific

                     b)   Russian rulers built railroads and feeder lines and established Vladivostok

                     c)   Migration rapidly declined following Soviet collapse

 IX.     Post-1945 external migrations

         A.  Flow of Jewish immigrants to Israel

               1.   In 1900, there were probably fewer than 50,000 Jewish residents in what was then


               2.   By 1948 there were probably about 750,000 Jewish residents

               3.   Israel was formed in 1948 through UN intervention (Figure 6-6)

               4.   The area has become a flashpoints in the modern world

         B.   German migration after World War II

               1.   Migrated westward from Eastern Europe

               2.   Many were forced

               3.   Millions left Europe for other parts of the Western World

         C.   From Mexico to the United States

               1.   Most movement north has been unauthorized and cannot be documented

               2.   Legal immigration has surpassed 3 million since 1961

               3.   Has transformed borderland of the United States

         D.  Other migrations

               1.   Asia during the 1990s

               2.   Only 10 percent of immigrants have been from Europe between 1960 and 2000

               3.   Many left their homelands after World War II to help rebuild Europe

         E.   Migrations to North America

               1.   From Middle America, East and Southeast Asia

               2.   Majority of Cuban immigrants arrived and stayed in Greater Miami area

  X.  Migration and dislocation: the refugee problem

         A.  Large-scale population movements tend to produce major social problems

               1.   World’s refugee population proportionately has grown faster than its total population

               2.   In 1970, the world had about 2.9 million refugees

               3.   In 2000, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees reported some 24 million people qualified as refugees

         B.   Uncertain dimensions

               1.   Problem of defining who is a refugee

               2.   UN definitions

                     a)   International refugees—those who have crossed one or more international borders and encamped in a country other than their own

                     b)   Intranational refugees—those who have abandoned their homes but not their                                   countries

               3.   Difficult to distinguish between refugees and poor or desperate migrants

               4.   In Jordan, Palestinian refugees have become regarded as permanent refugees

               5.   In Lebanon, other Palestinians wait in refugee camps for resettlement and still qualify as temporary refugees

               6.   Refugees can be identified by at least three characteristics, individual or aggregate

                     a)   Most refugees move without any more tangible property than they can carry or transport with them

                     b)   Most refugees make their first "step" on foot, by bicycle, wagon, or open boat

                     c)   Refugees move without the official documents that accompany channeled migrations

         C.   Regions of dislocation

               1.   Sub-Saharan Africa

                     a)   Several of the world's largest refugee crises plagued Africa during the 1990s and early twenty-first century

                     b)   Hostilities between the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda and The Congo

                     c)   Flows of refugees to other countries caused the death of hundreds of thousands

                     d)   Problems in Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda

                     e)   Civil wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola

               2.   North Africa and Southwest Asia

                     a)   Israel and the displaced Arab populations that surround it

                     b)   Exhibits qualities that are likely to generate additional refugee flow in the future

                     c)   Example of the Kurdish population after the Gulf War—a stateless nation

                           (Figure 6-8)

                     d)   Example of Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion during the 1980s

                     e)   Taliban rule in Afghanistan created even more refugees

               3.   South Asia

                     a)   Pakistan accommodated Afghanistan’s forced emigrants

                     b)   Other major refugee problem stems a civil war in Sri Lanka

               4.   Southeast Asia

                     a)   Boat people who fled communist rule in Vietnam

                     b)   In the early 1990s, Cambodia generated the region's largest refugee flow

                     c)   Today, the largest refugee numbers are reported from Myanmar (Burma)

               5.   Europe

                     a)   Collapse of Yugoslavia created the largest refugee crisis since the end of World

                           War II

                     b)   The UNHCR still reports as many as 2.1 million intranational refugees in former Yugoslavia

               6.   Elsewhere (Figure 6-8)

                     a)   In the Western Hemisphere, only Colombia in 1997 has a serious refugee problem

                     b)   The Earth’s refugee population is a barometer of the world’s future