Emigration is the act of leaving one's native country with the intent to settle permanently or temporarily elsewhere. Conversely, immigration describes the movement of persons into one country from another. Both are acts of migration across national boundaries.
There are many reasons why people might choose to emigrate; they can be a desire to escape circumstances in one's native country, an attraction to the opportunities available in a different country, or a combination of these. Seeking refuge in a foreign country from oppressive conditions in one's native country might possibly, but not necessarily, lead to permanent emigration.
In contrast to voluntary "emigration", involuntary migration refers to groups that are forced to abandon their native country, such as by enforced population transfer or the threat of ethnic cleansing.
Patterns of emigration have been shaped by numerous economic, social, and political changes throughout the world in the last few hundred years. For instance, millions of persons fled poverty, violence, and political turmoil in Europe to settle in the Americas and Oceania during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
Factors leading to emigration
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2014)|
Blacks Law; EMIGRATION. The act of removing from one country or state to another. It is to be distinguished from "expatriation." The latter means the abandonment of one's country and renunciation of one's citizenship in it, while emigration denotes merely the removal of person and property to another country. The former is usually the consequence of the latter. Emigration is also used of the removal from one section to another of the same country.
- Lack of employment or entrepreneurial opportunities
- Lack of political or religious rights
- Persecution or intolerance based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation
- Lack of freedom to choose religion, or to choose no religion
- Shortage of farmland; hard to start new farms (historically)
- Oppressive legal or political conditions
- Struggling or Failing economy
- Military draft, warfare
- Famine or drought
- Cultural fights with other cultural groups
- Expulsion by armed force or coercion
- Better opportunities for acquiring farms for self and children
- Cheap purchase of farmland
- Instant wealth
- More job opportunities
- Higher pay
- Prepaid travel (from relatives)
- Better welfare programmes
- Better schools
- Join friends and relatives who have already moved
- Build a new nation (historically)
- Build specific cultural or religious communities
- Political freedom
- Cultural opportunities
Some countries restrict the ability of their citizens to emigrate to other countries. After 1668, the Qing Emperor banned Han Chinese migration to Manchuria. In 1681, the emperor ordered construction of the Willow Palisade, a barrier beyond which the Chinese were prohibited from encroaching on Manchu and Mongol lands.
The Soviet Socialist Republics of the Soviet Union began such restrictions in 1918, with laws and borders tightening until even illegal emigration was nearly impossible by 1928. To strengthen this, they set up internal passport controls and individual city Propiska ("place of residence") permits, along with internal freedom of movement restrictions often called the 101st kilometre, rules which greatly restricted mobility within even small areas.
At the end of World War II in 1945, the Soviet Union occupied several Central European countries, together called the Eastern Bloc, with the majority of those living in the newly acquired areas aspiring to independence and wanted the Soviets to leave. Before 1950, over 15 million people emigrated from the Soviet-occupied eastern European countries and immigrated into the west in the five years immediately following World War II. By the early 1950s, the Soviet approach to controlling national movement was emulated by most of the rest of the Eastern Bloc. Restrictions implemented in the Eastern Bloc stopped most East-West migration, with only 13.3 million migrations westward between 1950 and 1990. However, hundreds of thousands of East Germans annually immigrated to West Germany through a "loophole" in the system that existed between East and West Berlin, where the four occupying World War II powers governed movement. The emigration resulted in massive "brain drain" from East Germany to West Germany of younger educated professionals, such that nearly 20% of East Germany's population had migrated to West Germany by 1961. In 1961, East Germany erected a barbed-wire barrier that would eventually be expanded through construction into the Berlin Wall, effectively closing the loophole. In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, followed by German reunification and within two years the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
By the early 1950s, the Soviet approach to controlling international movement was also emulated by China, Mongolia, and North Korea. North Korea still tightly restricts emigration, and maintains one of the strictest emigration bans in the world, although some North Koreans still manage to illegally emigrate to China. Other countries with tight emigration restrictions at one time or another included Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia from 1975-1979), Laos, North Vietnam, Iraq, South Yemen and Cuba.
- Eastern Bloc emigration and defection
- Feminization of migration
- Foot voting
- Human migration
- International Organization for Migration
- Migration Letters
- Political asylum
- Political migration
- Population transfer
- RMS Mooltan
- Separation barrier
- Snowbird (people)
- Swedish emigration to the United States
- Yerida (Jewish emigration from Israel)
- Elliott, Mark C. "The Limits of Tartary: Manchuria in Imperial and National Geographies." Journal of Asian Studies 59, no. 3 (2000): 603-46.
- Dowty 1989, p. 69
- Dowty 1989, p. 70
- Thackeray 2004, p. 188
- Böcker 1998, p. 207
- Dowty 1989, p. 114
- Böcker 1998, p. 209
- Harrison 2003, p. 99
- Dowty 1989, p. 122
- Pearson 1998, p. 75
- Dowty 1989, p. 208
- Kleinschmidt, Harald, Migration, Regional Integration and Human Security: The Formation and Maintenance of Transnational Spaces, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006,ISBN 0-7546-4646-7, page 110
- Dowty 1989, p. 186
- Böcker, Anita (1998), Regulation of Migration: International Experiences, Het Spinhuis, ISBN 90-5589-095-2
- Dale, Gareth (2005), Popular Protest in East Germany, 1945-1989: Judgements on the Street, Routledge, ISBN 0-7146-5408-6
- Dowty, Alan (1989), Closed Borders: The Contemporary Assault on Freedom of Movement, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-04498-4
- Harrison, Hope Millard (2003), Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-09678-3
- Krasnov, Vladislav (1985), Soviet Defectors: The KGB Wanted List, Hoover Press, ISBN 0-8179-8231-0
- Mynz, Rainer (1995), Where Did They All Come From? Typology and Geography of European Mass Migration In the Twentieth Century; EUROPEAN POPULATION CONFERENCE CONGRESS EUROPEAN DE DEMOGRAPHE, United Nations Population Division
- Pearson, Raymond (1998), The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire, Macmillan, ISBN 0-312-17407-1
- Thackeray, Frank W. (2004), Events that changed Germany, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0-313-32814-5
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