Why People Migrate: The Reasons And Effects Of Migration: Essay Fountain

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The history of humanity is a history of migration, according to Harzig and Hoerder (2009). They continue to point out that, there was no “pre-history” of unsettled and non-literate peoples followed by the “history proper” of settled empires or nations. Periodization differs between cultural macro- and micro- regions, but, Harzig and Hoerder (2009) generaliza eight distinct eras of migration over time:

  1. Homo sapiens migration out of East Africa across the world
  2. Migrations in the period of early sedentary agriculture, 15,000 – 5,000 BCE
  3. Differentatiation of migrations during urbanization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indic and East Asian societies, and the Mediterranean Phoenician-Hellenistic-Roman World
  4. Migrations from 500 BCE to 1500CE
  5. Migration, intercultural contact, and trade circuits in the world’s macro-regions, 1400-1600
  6. Migration dialectics in colonizer and colonized societies, 1600 – 1800,7. nineteenth-century global migration systems
  7. twentieth and twentiefirst century migrations.

As Massey (1990) argues the factors that influence migration to start could be very different from the conditions that make migration continue, i. e. perpetuate. After an initial phase of pioneer migration, migration becomes more common in the community, with more and more people imitating current migrants and being helped by them until migration becomes self-sustaining. There are different aspects of the perpetuation of migration, including social capital, social networks, migration institutions and cumulative and circular migration. Rubenstein (2014) states that people decide to migrate because of push factors and pull factors. A push factor induces people to move out of their present location, whereas a pull factor induces people to move into a new location. As migration for most people is a major step not taken lightly, both push and pull factors typically play a role. To migrate, people view their current place of residence so negatively that they feel pushed away, and they view another place so attractively that they feel pulled toward it. He continues to state that one can identify three major kinds of push and pull factors: economic, cultural, and environmental.

Economic Migration

Economic migration is defined as a choice to move to improve the standard of living by gaining a better paid job. From a recent example, when Poland and seven other Eastern European countries joined the EU in 2004, the UK received many economic migrants. There were 500,000 workers from Eastern Europe in 2009. The pull factors included wages five times greater than they could get at home. Some come for seasonal jobs, such as vegetable and fruit picking. More qualified migrants may look for medical or education jobs. The economic effects of migration vary widely. Sending countries may experience both gains and losses in the short term but may stand to gain over the longer term. For receiving countries temporary worker programs help to address skills shortages but may decrease domestic wages and add to public welfare burden. The economic effects of migration for both sending and receiving countries may also vary depending on who is moving, specifically with respect to migrant workers’ skill levels. A Swedish Professor notes, “the problem is not immigration; it is integration, especially in the labour market. If there are no jobs, the consequences are segregation, housing problems and divided cities” (Traynor, 2010).

For sending countries, the short-term economic benefit of emigration is found in remittances. Remittances are funds that emigrants earn abroad and send back to their home countries, mainly in order to support families left behind. A recent UNCTAD report notes:Remittances are more stable and predictable as compared to other financial flows and, more importantly, they are counter-cyclical providing buffer against economic shocks. In conflict or post–conflict situations, remittances can be crucial to survival, sustenance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. In providing primarily for household livelihoods, remittances are spent on general consumption items in local communities that contribute to local economies by supporting small businesses. A fair share of these expenditures is directed to the construction of homes, health care and education, alongside savings in financial institutions, thereby generating employment in these critical services sectors. Moreover, in contributing to foreign exchange earnings, remittances can spur economic growth by improving sending countries’ creditworthiness and expanding their access to international capital markets (UNCTAD, 2011).

Cultural Migration

Migrants are quite diverse. Epstein & Gang (The here is on the distinctions in culture among migrants, the families they left behind, and the local population in the migration destination. The new interactions directly affect all three groups. Assimilation is one result; separation is also a possibility. Location choice, workplace interaction, enclave size, the opportunity for the migrant obtaining credit in their new country, the local population’s reaction to migrants, the political culture of the migrants and local population, links to the country-of-origin, and the economic state of the host country, all contribute to the classic conflict between assimilation and separation.

Environmental Migration

Migration today

According to Eurostat (2018), migration is influenced by a combination of economic, environmental, political and social factors: either in a migrant’s country of origin (push factors) or in the country of destination (pull factors). E. G. Ravenstein Infact, around 3. 0 million emigrants were reported to have left an EU Member State. These total figures do not however represent the migration flows to/from the EU as a whole, since they also include flows between different EU Member States. Germany reported the highest number of emigrants in 2016 (533. 8 thousand), followed by the United Kingdom (340. 4 thousand), Spain (327. 3 thousand), France (309. 8 thousand), Poland (236. 4 thousand) and Romania (207. 6 thousand).

A total of 21 of the EU Member States reported more immigration than emigration in 2016, but in Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Romania the number of emigrants outnumbered the number of immigrants. Malta reported around 18 emigrants per 1000 persons in 2016 according to Eurostat. NSO 2016 population census confirms this with a total of 958 Maltese nationals who emigrated, mainly composed of 592 males and 366 females.

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