Global Migration


Spatial patterns of migration

2015, United Nations Population Fund - 244 million people (3.3% of world population) were living outside of their country of origin

Impact of globalisation - places are interconnected --> easier to migrate 

Why is global migration dynamic?

> Flows of people constantly changing

> Direction of movement changes 

> Demography and ethnic make up of migrants numbers changes

1 of 68

Spatial patterns of migration

Types of migrants 

1. Economic migrants - seek work and social opportunities 

Economic migrants send remittances back home 

2. Refugee - someone that has been forced to leave there country

3. Asylum seeker - someone that has fleed there country due to persecution, finding asylum in another.

2 of 68

Spatial patterns of migration

Spatial patterns of international migrant flows

Long term migrant - a person who moves to a country for a period of at least a year.

Short term migrant - person who moves for at least 3 months (but less than a year).

Net migration - difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants 

2014 UK - net migration gain of 318,000

2015 UK - net migration gain of 333,000

3 of 68

Spatial patterns of migration

Numbers, composition and direction of international migration 

Top 3 main countries for immigration and emmigration in the UK

Immigration: 1 = India (760,000)   2 = Poland (660,000)  3 = Pakistan (480,000)

Emmigration: 1 = Australia  (1,280,000)   2 = USA  (760,000)    3 = Canada (670,000)

4 of 68

Spatial patterns of migration

5.1 million people born in the UK lived abroad in 2013

7.8 million foreign-born people lived in the UK in 2013


1. Employment opportunities - more managerial opportunities

2. Retirement - high UK house prices allow cheaper living abroad (climate and quality of life)

3. Family reunification - moving to join relatives

London has 36.2% of all immigrants in the UK

5 of 68

Spatial patterns of migration

International migration to the UK

2014 - 641,000 migrants moved to the UK

178,000 - employment contracts 

106,000 - seeking work

193,000 - students 

91,000 - family reunification 

6 of 68

Inter-regional migrant flows

Example of inter-regional migration flow 

Migrants from Africa and Middle east to Europe (escaping conflict and instability)


Interational Organisation for Migration (IOM) - 3,279 migrants died at sea in 2014 

Total arrives via Italy 

1. Syria - 42,323

2. Eritrea - 34,329

3. Mali - 9,938

7 of 68

Inter-regional migrant flows

Example of inter-regional migrant flows

Migration routes

1. Through central Mediterranean - Libya to Italy 

2. Up through Western African - Morocco to Spain 

3. Turkey to Greece 

8 of 68

Inter-regional migrant flows

Example of inter-regional migrant flows


> Italian coastguard

> EU border management agency 

> UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

> NGOs - for migrant welfare

> Migrants

9 of 68

Intra-regional migration flows

Example of intra-regional migration - movement in the EU

2012 - 1.7 million people migrated from one EU country to another 

Movement explain due to the Schengen Agreement - free movement of people 

1.Recent EU expansion

2004 - Latvia, Estonia, Malta

2007 - Romania, Bulgaria

2013 - Croatia 

2. These countries have a large population of work age seeking employment 

3. Attractive higher wages of the EU 

10 of 68

Intra-regional migration flows

EU movement - intra-regional migration 

Motivation for migration is economic 


1. Polish entry into the EU in 2004

2. New immigration to the UK 

Polish immigrants attracted by higher waves, better opportunities, higher standards of living 

In 9 years = 660,000 Polish people living in the UK

11 of 68

Migration Model 1

Lee's Push and Pull Theory

Push factors - negative factors in the migrations original location

Pull factors - percieved advantages of the migrants destination

Intervening obstables - barrier to migration (physical/cultural barriers - mountains or language)

When the pull factors of the destination outway the push factors = migration occurs.

There can be pull factors at the original locations (family)

12 of 68

Migration Model 2

Mydral's Model of Circular and Cumulative Causation

Backwash effect - areas with less resources get smaller 

Spread effect - areas with more resources + richer get bigger

Area A: Rich in resources --> Inflow of labour and capital --> more investment --> more jobs --> more economic activity --> more inflow of capital --> promotes for development of region (gets richer)

As a result the region spreads and gets bigger

Area B: Poor in resources --> No inflow of labour and capital --> No investment --> No job generation --> Less economic activity --> Less inflow of captial --> Region stays poor

As a result the region gets smaller (faster backwash in undeveloped country)

13 of 68

Migration Model 3

Friedmann's Core-Periphery Model 

Core = Rich in capital, scares in labour 

Periphery = Rich in raw material and labour, poor in capital

Two areas the core and periphery.

Capital = moves from the core to the periphery 

Labour = moves from the periphery to the core 

Shortage of labour at the core = movement of labour from the periphery to the core

Capital flows back to the periphery = movement of capital from labour

14 of 68

Migration Model 3

Friedmann's Core-Periphery Model

Level 1: Independent small centers. No flow of labour or captial, agiculture (Pre-industrial)

Level 2: One centre starts to develop. Pulls labour and raw materials from surrounding peripheries (Industralisation) Trickle down of capital begins. Increasing disparities between places.

Level 3: Formation of sub-centres. Trickle down effect leads to development of sub-centres. Aren't individual centres, still supplying the core.

Level 4: Core, sub-centres and further peripheries developed. Flow of labour, capital and raw material occurs between all areas (due to improved connectivity and infrastructure)

15 of 68

Impact of socio-economic development

Relationship between international migration and socio-economic development 


> Positive = promote stability, economic growth and socio-economic change

> Negative = promote inequalities in levels of development

Statistical measure of international migration linked to development = value of remittances 

Remittances are significant = considerable in the development of the recipient country's GDP

Migrant remittances to ACs (with higher HDI) --> lower percentage of GDP 

Nepal compared to UK

28.8% of GDP (0.540 HDI)       .vs.        0.1% of GDP (0.892 HDI)

16 of 68

Stability, growth and development

Advantages of global migration 

1. Stability -

> Remittances provide an income which contributes to the economy

> Returning migrants have new ideas and values (on democracy and equality)

> A young, working population will promote a balanced age structure

2. Economic growth 

> GDP and taxes will be boosted

> Migrants will be consumers stimulating economy - even create new market sectors

> Migrants can fill skill gaps or shortages at local and national scales 

> Remittance will supplement family income - stimulating a local multipler effect 

17 of 68

Stability, growth and development

Advantages of global migration 

3. Development 

> Migrants will return to country of origin with new skills, knowledge and values 

> Migrants can create networks which ease the flow of ideas, skills, resources and values through their diaspora associations 

> UN 'migration and development' projects provide 'bottom-up' approaches to development 

18 of 68

Stability, growth and development

Global migration, facilitated through globalisation, leads to the flows of money, ideas and technology...

... this transfer of resources promotes stability, economic growth and development 

1. Monetary transfers - migrant remittances 

2. Technological advances - more efficient and secure online monetary transfers

3. Increased geographical distribution of ideas and values - family size, education, marriage 

Ideas and values that can be traced back to the place of origin = social remittances 

Values and social norms provide information to potential migrants of the progress and reception at the destination.

If values are rejected - migrants are unwelcomed. (Shown on different scales - cities compared to suburbs - cores compared to peripheries)

19 of 68

Inequalities, conflicts and injustices

Inequalities, conflict and injustices --> caused by unequal flows of people, money, ideas and technology

1. Inequalities 

> Economic spiral of decline due to loss of working population and labour 

> Better educated people migrate - loss of human resources in origin country 

> Change of birth rates - due to redistribution of population at reproductive age. 

> Remittances - inequality between family who recieve and don't recieve remittances

20 of 68

Inequalities, conflicts and injustices

How global migration causes inequalities, conflicts and injustices 

2. Conflicts 

> Social conflict between host communities and migrants - intergration .vs. segregation

> Social conflict due to migrant population putting a strain on service (education, healthcare) 

> International boarders - conflict between authorities, traffickers and illegal migrants 

21 of 68

Inequalities, conflicts and injustices

How global migration causes inequalities, conflicts and injustices

3. Injustices 

> Human rights violations - forced labour, exploitation of women, human trafficking 

> Poor treatment of asylum seekers during application period

> The threat of being returned to their county of origin.

22 of 68

Economic globalisation

Economic globalisation leads to new source areas and host destinations 

> Interconnectivity = countries and their economies are being more interdependent 

Increasing complexity of global migration link to intensitfication of globalisation 

> Bilateral corridors and migration routes have remained strong 

> But new origins and destinations have emerged as globalisation spread

23 of 68

Economic globalisation

New global migration patterns = showing change in global economic trends:

Inter-regional patterns

1. Highly skilled workers from China, India and Brazil to the USA = high wages and quality of life

2. Workers from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to Saudia Arabia = increasing demand for labour in oil production = remittances, high wages, employment

Intra-regional patterns

1. Increasing international migrant stock in ASEAN member countries = fast growing economies, employment in high socio-economic development 

2. Increasing south migrant flows in South America - disparities in wages and labour opportunities

24 of 68

Economic globalisation

Continued intra-regional migration 

> Returning migrants are high in the EU - achieved their economic goals and so return home for more skilled position.

Internal migration (in EDCs)

> Foreign Direct Investment - promoted economic activity near urban centres resulting in rural to urban migration 

Better opportunities will be found in urban centres.

25 of 68

Young workers and female migrants

Young international migration - labour demand

(Friedmann's Core-Periphery Model)

> Greater employment opportunities

> Higher wages

> Possibilities of remittances 

Young migration is usually low-skilled 

Example of young workers:

Demand for workers in oil-producing countries (Saudi Arabia) 

26 of 68

Young workers and female migrants

Female migrants - globally increasing 

2013 - 52% of all migrants in developed countries were women 

Growth in female migrants can be linked to the increasing positive status of women:

> independent

> increasing importance as main income earners 

Trend = growing significance of highly skilled female migration 

OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Women migrants in OECD countries increased by 80%

27 of 68

South-South and South-North Corridors

South-South corridors are equal to South-North corridors 

South-South corridor = 82.3 million migrants 

South-North corridor = 81.9 million migrants 

South-North corridor = migrants flows occur from less developed countries in the south to highly developed countries in the north

South-South corridor  = as global economies become more interconnected flows have increased 

South-South can be explained by:

1.Labour migration = 2013 - 2/3 remittances were sent between countries in the South

2. Increasing number of refugees fleeing conflict 

28 of 68

South-South and South-North Corridors

Magnitude of South-South Corridors 

1. Restrictive administrative barriers - hard for migrants to enter the North.

2. Fast growing economies of Southern countries - increasingly accessible employment opportunties 

3. Increasing awareness of these opportunities - improved communitications and networks

4. Preventative costs - expensive to move to distant richer countries 

29 of 68

South-South Corridor 1

Burkina Faso to Ivory Coast

> Burkina Faso is landlocked 

> Low incomes + low GDP (US$684)

> Ivory Coast - largest exposer of cocoa 

> High incomes + high GDP (US$1529)

Who is migrating?

1.46 million people from Burkina Faso have migrated to the Ivory Coast

30 of 68

South-South Corridor 1

What are the motivations for migration to the Ivory Coast?

1. Employment opportunities + higher wages 

> Avaliable on the cocoa and coffee plantations 

> Income displarities significant enough to encourage significant flows.

2. Opportunties for farmers - more fertile land on coast

3. Both countries are former French colonies - administration, language, culture is similar and easier.

31 of 68

South-South Corridor 2

Myanmar to Thailand

> Largest ASEAN migrant corridor (Associate of Southeast Asian Nations)

> Thailand - Southeast Asia's fastest growing economy

> People from Myanmar are attracted for economic reasons

Needs to migrants in Thailand = labour shortages

Attraction to Thailand = recently introduced a legal daily minimum wage (10x the wage in Myanmar)

32 of 68

South-South Corridor 2

Factors that facilitate migration

> Geographical proximity of the countries

> Free flows of labour in ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

Importance of migration for Myanmar's refugees

> Migrants are escaping forced labour in government development projects (economic reforms)

33 of 68


Conflict + persecution have increased the number of refugees

UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

2012 - 15.7 million refugees

2014 - 19.5 million refugees

Syria is the biggest source of refugees

87.2% of all refugees live in the global south

34 of 68


Reasons for large global numbers of refugees

1. Conflict - reducing quality of life

2. Risk of persecution, discrimintation and violation of human rights

3. Economic hardship - forced labour

4. Natural hazards

35 of 68

Immigration and emmigration policies

ACs (Australia) - use a points-based to meet labour shortages

EDCs/LIDCs - encourage emmigration to support development projects through remittances + skills learnt by returning migrants

Examples of countries with diffeing immigration and emmigration policies, include:

1. Pakistan

2. Canada

36 of 68

Emmigration policy 1

Pakistan - emmigration policy


 2014 - 196.1 million people

45% of population under 20

HDI - 0.537

2013 - remittances were US$11.5 billion - critical to the socio-economic development of Pakistan

37 of 68

Emmigration policy 1

Requirements of Pakistan's emmigration policy

1. Ensure basic human rights of workers

2. Promote export of labour

3. Encourage female emmigration for overseas employment

4. Support migrant communities overseas

5. Prepare young people for overseas employment

6. Promote the importance of remittances and skills

38 of 68

Immigration policy 1

Canada - Immigration policy


HDI - 0.902

Total population - 35.1 million

GDP per capita - US$ 44,843

2015 - immigration policy to address labour and skills shortage

Points-based system =

1. Highly skilled migrants are fast tracked

2. More points for people in 20s

39 of 68

Corridors of bi-lateral flows

'Bilateral migration - migration flow between 2 countries'

Characteristics of bilateral migration:

1. Number of migrants

2. Composition of migrants

3. Direction of flow

Long standing bilateral flows = Mexico and USA

Recent bilateral flows = Sudan to South Sudan

40 of 68

Corridors of bi-lateral flows

Bilateral migrant corridor influencers:

1. Cost of travel - due to geographical proximity

2. Efficiency of communication

3. Cost of spending remittances

4. Employment and wage differentials

5. Establishment of diaspora communities

6. Conflict

7. Migration policies - policies on refugees

8. Former colony - easier entery

41 of 68

Global migration overview

Global connectiveness has growing significantly in recent years.

Flows of trade, capital, technology, ideas and people across international boundaries have increased in number and by the complexity of the geographical pattern.

International migrations is critical to globalisation processs - forming social and economic inderpendence

For some, this has been advantagous leading to stability, economic growth and development, however, for others has resulted in inequalities, conflict and injustices.

42 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Background information

Emerging country = significant increase in GDP per capita

2007 - US$4874

2014 - US$ 5823

Moving quickly through demographic transitions = leading to a declining birth rate --> ageing population

Migration = economic growth and development of Brazil's economy

43 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Patterns of immigration and emmigration

1. Net migration loss of 500,000 each 4 year period (2000-2004 and 2005-2009)

2. Increased migration between Brazil and neighbouring countries

3. Decrease in low-skilled economic migrants to USA.

4. Increase in highly-skilled economic migrants to Japan, Europe and USA

5. Influx of migrants from Haiti

6. Increase in labour to Brazil - for construction (2016 olympics)

7. Strong internal migration from North to South

44 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Changes in immigration and emmigration overtime 

1800s - immigration highest 

> Migrants attracted to work in agricultural sector

> Economic migrants from Paraguay and Argentina 

> Refugees - political crisis in Bolivia, Angola, Lebanon

Since 2003 - immigration has slowed, emmigration has increased

2003 - 1.77 million lived abroad compared to 0.98 million in 2000

Many Brazilian have emmigrated to Japan due to strong cultural links and employment opportunities

45 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Numbers of immigrant and emmigrant populations 


1. Portugal - 140,000

2. Japan  - 50,000

3. Paraguay - 40,000


1. USA - 370,000

2. Japan - 370,000

3. Portugal - 140,000

46 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Interdependence with countries connected to Brazil by migrant flows

> Economic

> Environmental

> Social

> Political 

Interdependence between countries, shown by: Portugal, USA, Haiti

47 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Interdependence between Brazil and Portugal 

Long standing bilateral relationship - economic, political, social

Brazil was a former Portugese colony 

Portugese government gives special status to Brazilians 

Economic migrants - Portugal provides a way of entering the EU

> Administrative process + intergration is easer = due to shared cultural links: language

> Diaspora networks in both countries = easier intergration 

Migrant flows between countries allow remittances to be sent back.

48 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Independence due to migrant flows between Brazil and USA


> Low-skilled workers can moved to USA to send back remittances

> Highly-skilled workers returning bring new skills and knowledge = Brazil's development 


> Negotations in agreements on trade, finance, defence


> US aid supports environmental projects - helping Brazilian government to design and implement laws for forest governance and sustainable forest management

49 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Interdependence on migrant flows between Brazil and Haiti

Political, economic and humanitarian relationship 

Brazils National Immigration Council - make it easy for Haitian's to obtain visas 

> Reduces the vulnerability to traffickers 

> Benefical caused by displacement from earthquake in 2010 (1.5 million displaced)

> Escape political instability 

> Escape unemployment + poverty 

50 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Impact of migration flows 

Migrant flows impact:

> Economic development 

> Political stability 

> Social equality

51 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Impact of migration on: economic development 

1. Immigration has contributed to growth in agriculture and manufacturing sectors

2. Highly-skilled migrants have filled gaps in labour market

3. Migrant remittances have improved social conditions - housing.

52 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Impact of migration on: political stability 

1. Has a strong political system = BRICs and G20

2. Part of Mercosur - trading bloc allowing free flow of trade, capital and labour 

3. Strong bilateral flows - USA, Japan and Portugal

4. Accepts envrionmental and political refugees - provides visas and work permits

53 of 68

Case study: Brazil (EDC)

Impact of migration on: social equality 

1.  Inequalities between groups in Brazilian society (remittances)

2. Inequality is spatial - higher in rural areas 

3. Prejudice and discrimitation in larbour marker - against black and indigenous people

54 of 68

Case study: USA (AC)

Patterns of emigration and immigration 

USA compared to Lao - shows unequal flow of global migration 

USA has strong influence on global migration 

2013 - 41.3 million immigrants living in USA 

Rapid increase in the number of immigrants entering USA - rate is beginning to slow.

55 of 68

Case study: USA (AC)

Patterns of emigration and immigration 

Attractiveness of the USA to migrants:

1. Pro-immigration policy + Green cards (enable permenant residence)

2. Employment opportunities - for both low and high skilled workers

3. Wage differentials - remittances

4. Acess to services

5. Migration policy promotes family reunification 

6. Refugees are welcomed 

Growing number of emigrants due to migrants returning home 

56 of 68

Case study: USA (AC)

Migration policy  - The Immigration and Naturalisation Act - detemines immigration policy 

Sets an annual limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants 

5 principles of the immigration policy

1. Reunification of families - 480,000 visas available annually

2. Highly-skilled migrants - 140,000 visas available annually

3. Protecting refugees - number of admissions is decided annually

4. Promoting diversity - Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes 50,000 visas avaliable annually

5.Humanitarian relief - temporary visas for natural disasters or conflict annually

57 of 68

Case study: USA (AC)

Interdependence of countries linked by migration 

Largest bilaterial corridor: USA and Mexico

1. Large diaspora networks  - cultural and social connectivity 

2. Low-skilled employment in USA (add to US economy)

3. Remittances are sent back to Mexico contributing to development (US$ 22 billion in 2013)

4. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) - increasing in bilateral trade

5. Increasing co-operation over common issues (border security, drug trafficking, trafficking)

58 of 68

Case study: USA (AC)

Opportunities from USA international migration 

1. Immigrants fill a labour shortage in low-paid jobs which American find unattractive - this significantly contributes to GDP and US economic growth 

2.US immigration policy aims to attrach high skilled people in particular sectors 

3. Immigrants are of young, working age - contribute taxes and balance the age profile.

4. Immigrants are consumers - generate wealth, the economy and job creation

59 of 68

Case study: USA (AC)

Challenges of US international migration

1. Illegal migrants - 11.5 million unauthorised migrants

2. Little intergration of immigrant groups in US society - less social cohesion due to size and diversity of group (language, culture)

3. Resource and supply issues - concentrated immigrant populations put pressure on services (leading to further issues of segregation)

60 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Laos - shows how some countries have limited influence and ability to respond to changes within the global migration system.


6.8 million people

73% of population employed in agriculture 

Net migration loss of high 

Human trafficking is a serious problem 

61 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Patterns of emigration and immigration

2013 - 1.29 million Laos emigrants lived abroad 

Emigration destinations 

1. Thailand - 930,000

2. USA - 200,000

3. Bangladesh - 90,000

62 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Reasons for pattern of emigrants (to Thailand)

1. Employment opportunities - subsistence farming has little financial gain 

2. Lack of opportunities in Laos

3. Little land avalibility + food insecurity 

4. Strong motivation to follow others who have succeeded

5. Large wage differential 

6. Migrant remittances - main source of income 

7. Lots of unskilled labour opportunities in Thailand which is not avalibale in Laos 

63 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Factors that facilitate migration 

> Similar cultures between Thailand and Laos

> Improves infrastructure - ability to cross the Mekong 

Some migration occurs to Laos 

> World bank funded programmes = link countries by creating new infrastructure.

64 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Migration policy 

Laos is a signifcant source of human trafficking. Vunerable young migrants are used for forced labour and sex exploitation in Thailand.

Increasing actions against trafficking: UN agencies, NGOs and government organisations 

National Plan of Action for Human Trafficking 

1. Prevention  - awareness campaigns, education, reducing poverty (reducing the need to migrate)

2. Protection - reintergration for returning migrants 

3. Prosecution - strengthing laws and training border officials.

ASEAN Economic Community - allows free movement of skilled labour 

65 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Interdependence by migration linked to Laos 

ASEAN countries are increasingly interdependent 

1. Laos-Thailand migration corridor - unskilled migrants migrating to find employment

2. Laos-Thailand Cooperation Committee - bilateral relationship established

3. Environmental parternship - Mekong River Commision 

4. Creation of infastructure between Laos and Thailand 

5. Both members of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initative against Trafficking (COMMIT)

66 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Opportunities created by migration 

1. Laos-Thailand migration corridor - promotes trade, labour flow, investment 

2. Strong bilateral relations - promotes economic growth and political security (+ with Vietnam)

3. Migrant remittances - 22% of families below poverty line. Social and economic benefits

4. Promotes political stability - between Laos, Thailand and Vietnam

67 of 68

Case study: Laos (LIDC)

Challenges created by migration 

1. Economic migrants from Laos are young and low-skilled - vulernable to exploitation 

2. Loss of skilled labour in Thailand - high wage differentials + free movement in ASEAN Economic Community 

3.Expolitation + poor working conditions in Laos industries.

68 of 68


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Population change and migration resources »