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Causes and consequences of migration in Geography

Table of contents
  • What is migration? 
  • Types of migration
  • Causes of Migration
  • consequence of migration
  • Migration theories


What is Migration?
The population moving from a place of origin to the place of destination is called migration

  • Change of residence of people either temporarily or permanently. 
  • Humans are emotional animals, generally, they are emotionally attached to their motherland, however, millions of people migrate daily in the search for a better life opportunity. 

Types of Migration: 
Migration may be:

  • Permanent 
  • Temporary 
  • Seasons 
  • Rural to urban 
  • Urban to urban 
  • Rural to rural 
  • Urban to rural 
  • Internal migration
  • External migration

Causes of migration

The main reason for migration is unequal development & economic opportunities over a geographical area. There are two factors responsible for migration:


pull &push factors of migration
pull &push factors of migration


Pull Factor: 
People are attracted by the pull factor to migrate voluntarily, such as:


  • Better economic opportunities
  • Better job opportunities
  • Better living condition
  • Peace and stability 
  • Security of Life and property 
  • Pleasant climate
  • Better life
  • Better services such as better opportunities for education, communication & health services



Push Factors: 
The push factors are those factor that compels people to migrate, such as:


  • Drought & flood
  • Calamities
  • Threat of life
  • Poverty
  • No job or high unemployment
  • War, civil war, conflict among people
  • Terrorism
  • Poor living standard 
  • Political instability 
  • Harsh climate 
  • Natural disaster 
  • Epidemic
  • Social and economic backwardness


Consequences of Migration?
Migration happens in response to the unequal distribution of opportunities( economic, resources, political, environmental, social). This could be both benefits and problems for the area. For example, 


  • City & village both are benefited from migration because the city gets cheap labor from the village & the village gets capital from labor wages.
  • At the same time, excess migration in the city creates many problems such as an increase in crime rate, slum areas, scarcity of basic necessities such as drinkable water and house, etc.
Consequences of migration can be seen in the following areas:

  • Economic Consequences
  • Demographic Consequences
  • Social Consequences
  • Environmental consequences


Economic Consequences: 


  • Source region gets remittance. India is the largest receiver of remittance in the world, Kerala, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu receive a very large amount of remittance from abroad.
  • Destination regions get benefited from cheap labor supply
  • Unregulated migration to the metro cities of India created an overcrowding situation.
  • The negative consequence of migration can be seen in the slum area that is developed in metro cities like Mumbai & Delhi.
Demographic Consequence:
  • Redistribution of the population happens through migration.
  • Rural demographic structure adversely affected by selective age & skill migrations
Social Consequence:


  • Social change happens through migration, for example, Aryan culture came to India through Aryan migration.
  • New Ideas, New technologies, family values, and women's status, all are get diffused through migration.
  • Migration leads to intermixing of ethnicity, race, caste, religion, culture, language, etc
  • Negative consequences: Migration may create intolerance & growth of anti-social activities.
Environment Consequences: 


  • Overcrowding in urban areas leads to a shortage of existing resources like housing, water, land, etc. Almost all Indian cities are facing a shortage of housing, and as a result, people are forced to live in slum areas.
  • Pollutions problems
  • Groundwater depletion
What are the migration theories?
The following is the migration theory which explains the why, how, and how much migration happens. 

  • Ravenstein law of migration. 
  • Zipf's law on migration 
  • Stouffer law of intervening distance
  • Gravity Model  

Try to solve the following questions

  • Discuss the major international streams of migration in the world in recent times and account for the relationship that exists between population pressure areas and migration prospects. (UPSC 1993, 20 marks)
  • Discuss the causes and consequences of population migration. (UPSC 2000, 15 marks) 
  • Impact of migration on urban demography(UPSC 2012, 12 marks)
  • "Over crowing leads to the chronic problem of shortage of housing in Indian cities". Explain citing relevant examples. (UPSC 2022, 15 Marks).
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