Theory of intervening opportunities by Stouffer UPSC

As per  Stouffer, migration is not related to the distance and population size of the city as the gravity model claimed but it is depended on the number of opportunities available in that location.

As per Stouffer law, the number of migrants moving from a source location to a destination locations are directly proportional to the opportunities available at destination location and inversely proportional to the number of intervening opportunities available between source and destination. 


Opportunities and Intervening opportunities are:

  • Economic opportunities such as job opportunities, proper housing
  • Sanitation, health, and education facilities
  • Entertainment facilities
  • Clean environment
  • Political stability, security, and political opportunities.
  • Cultural and social opportunities




intervening opportunities by Stouffer
intervening opportunities by Stouffer

Intervening opportunities make people satisfier that discourages people to migrate to a large distance.

Supporting example:

  • A large number of Indian migrants to West Asia/Europe/USA as compared to central Asia/China/Russia because of the number of opportunities available in West Asia/Europe/USA is more as compared to central Asia/China/Russia.
  • Students from India will not go abroad to study if they get admissions to IIT/AIIMS.


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