Human migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intention of settling temporarily or permanently in the new location. The movement is typically over long distances and from one country to another, but internal migration is also possible. Migration may be individuals, family units or in large groups.
Nomadic movements are normally not regarded as migrations as there is no intention to settle in the new place and because the movement is generally seasonal. Only a few nomadic peoples have retained this form of lifestyle in modern times. Also, the temporary movement of people for the purpose of travel, tourism, pilgrimages, or the commute is not regarded as migration, in the absence of an intention to settle in the new location.
Migration has continued under the form of both voluntary migration within one's region, country, or beyond and involuntary migration (which includes the slave trade, trafficking in human beings and ethnic cleansing). People who migrate into a territory are called immigrants, while at the departure point they are called emigrants. Small populations migrating to develop a territory considered void of settlement depending on historical setting, circumstances and perspective are referred to as settlers or colonists, while populations displaced by immigration and colonization are called refugees.
- 1 Migration statistics
- 2 Pre-modern migrations
- 3 Modern migrations
- 4 Theories for migration for work in the 21st century
- 5 Historical theories
- 6 Notes and references
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
There are many sources for estimates on worldwide migration patterns. The World Bank has published a yearly Migration and Remittances Factbook since 2008. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has published a yearly World Migration Report since 1999. The United Nations Statistics Division also keeps a database on worldwide migration.
It should be noted that substantial internal migration can take place within a country, either seasonal human migration mainly related to agriculture and tourism to urban places, or shifts of population into cities (urbanization) or out of cities (suburbanization). Studies of worldwide migration patterns however tend to limit their scope to international migration.
The World Bank Migration and Remittances Factbook of 2011 lists the following estimates for the year 2010: Total number of immigrants: 215.8 million or 3.2% of world population. Often, a distinction is made between voluntary and involuntary migration, or between refugees fleeing political conflict or natural disaster vs. economic or labour migration, but these distinctions are difficult to make and partially subjective, as the various motivators for migration are often correlated. The World Bank report estimates that as of 2010, 16.3 million or 7.6% of migrants qualified as refugees.
Structurally, there is substantial South-South and North-North migration, i.e. most emigrant from high-income OECD countries migrate to other high-income countries, and a substantial part (estimated at 43%) of emigrants from developing countries migrate to other developing countries. The top ten destination countries are the USA, Russian Federation, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the UK, Spain, France, Australia and India. The top ten countries of origin are: Mexico, India, the Russian Federation, China, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the UK, the Philippines and Turkey.
The top ten migration corridors worldwide are: 1. Mexico–United States; 2. Russia– Ukraine; 3. Ukraine–Russia; 4. Bangladesh–India; 5. Turkey–Germany; 6. Kazakhstan–Russia; 7. Russia–Kazakhstan; 8. China–Hong Kong; 9. China–United States; 10. Philippines–United States.
Remittance, i.e. funds transferred by migrant workers to their home country, is a substantial part of the economy of some countries. The top ten remittance recipients in 2010 were (estimates in billion US Dollar): 1. India (55; 2.7% of GDP), 2. China (51; 0.5% of GNP), Mexico (22.6; 1.8% of GDP), Philippines (21.3; 7.8% of GDP), France (15.9; 0.5% of GDP), Germany (11.6; 0.2% of GDP), Bangladesh (11.1; 7.2% of GDP), Belgium (10.4; 1.9% of GDP), Spain (10.2; 0.7% of GDP), Nigeria (10.0; 1.9% of GDP).
The Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM) was launched in 2003 and published a report in 2005. International migration challenges at the global level are addressed through the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the Global Migration Group, both established in 2006.
Historical migration of human populations begins with the movement of Homo erectus out of Africa across Eurasia about 1.75 million years ago. Homo sapiens appear to have occupied all of Africa about 150,000 years ago, moved out of Africa 70,000 years ago, and had spread across Australia, Asia and Europe by 40,000 years BCE. Migration to the Americas took place 20,000 to 15,000 years ago, and by 2,000 years ago, most of the Pacific Islands were colonized. Later population movements notably include the Neolithic Revolution, Indo-European expansion, and the Early Medieval Great Migrations including Turkic expansion. In some places, substantial cultural transformation occurred following the migration of relatively small elite populations, Turkey and Azerbaijan being such examples. In Britain, it is considered that the Roman and Norman conquests were similar examples, while "the most hotly debated of all the British cultural transitions is the role of migration in the relatively sudden and drastic change from Romano-Britain to Anglo-Saxon Britain", which may be explained by a possible "substantial migration of Anglo-Saxon Y chromosomes into Central England (contributing 50%–100% to the gene pool at that time.)"
Early humans migrated due to many factors such as changing climate and landscape and inadequate food supply. The evidence indicates that the ancestors of the Austronesian peoples spread from the South Chinese mainland to Taiwan at some time around 8,000 years ago. Evidence from historical linguistics suggests that it is from this island that seafaring peoples migrated, perhaps in distinct waves separated by millennia, to the entire region encompassed by the Austronesian languages. It is believed that this migration began around 6,000 years ago. Indo-Aryan migration from the Indus Valley to the plain of the River Ganges in Northern India is presumed to have taken place in the Middle to Late Bronze Age, contemporary to the Late Harappan phase in India (ca. 1700 to 1300 BC). From 180 BC, a series of invasions from Central Asia followed, including those led by the Indo-Greeks, Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians and Kushans in the northwestern Indian subcontinent.
From 728 BC, the Greeks began 250 years of expansion, settling colonies in several places, including Sicily and Marseille. In Europe, two waves of migrations dominate demographic distributions, that of the Celtic people and that of the later Migration Period from the North and East, both being possible examples of general cultural change sparked by primarily elite and warrior migration. Other examples are small movements like that of the Magyars into Pannonia (modern-day Hungary). Turkic peoples spread from their homeland in modern Turkestan across most of Central Asia into Europe and the Middle East between the 6th and 11th centuries. Recent research suggests that Madagascar was uninhabited until Austronesian seafarers from Indonesia arrived during the 5th and 6th centuries AD. Subsequent migrations from both the Pacific and Africa further consolidated this original mixture, and Malagasy people emerged.
Before the expansion of the Bantu languages and their speakers, the southern half of Africa is believed to have been populated by Pygmies and Khoisan-speaking people, today occupying the arid regions around the Kalahari Desert and the forest of Central Africa. By about 1000 AD, Bantu migration had reached modern day Zimbabwe and South Africa. The Banu Hilal and Banu Ma'qil were a collection of Arab Bedouin tribes from the Arabian Peninsula who migrated westwards via Egypt between the 11th and 13th centuries. Their migration strongly contributed to the Arabization and Islamization of the western Maghreb, which was until then dominated by Berber tribes. Ostsiedlung was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans. The 13th century was the time of the great Mongol and Turkic migrations across Eurasia.
Between the 11th and 18th centuries, there were numerous migrations in Asia. The Vatsayan Priests from the eastern Himalaya hills, migrated to Kashmir during the Shan invasion in 1203C. They settled in the lower Shivalik hills in 1206C to sanctify the manifest goddess. In the Ming occupation, the Vietnamese expanded southward in a process known as nam tiến (southward expansion). Manchuria was separated from China proper by the Inner Willow Palisade, which restricted the movement of the Han Chinese into Manchuria during the early Qing Dynasty, as the area was off-limits to the Han until the Qing started colonizing the area with them later on in the dynasty's rule.
The Age of Exploration and European colonialism led to an accelerated pace of migration since Early Modern times. In the 16th century, perhaps 240,000 Europeans entered American ports. In the 19th century, over 50 million people left Europe for the Americas. The local populations or tribes, such as the Aboriginal people in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Japan and the United States, were usually far overwhelmed numerically by the settlers.
Industrialization and the rise of nationalism/imperialism
While the pace of migration had accelerated since the 18th century already (including the involuntary slave trade), it would increase further in the 19th century. Manning distinguishes three major types of migration: labor migration, refugee migrations, and urbanization. Millions of agricultural workers left the countryside and moved to the cities causing unprecedented levels of urbanization. This phenomenon began in Britain in the late 18th century and spread around the world and continues to this day in many areas.
Industrialization encouraged migration wherever it appeared. The increasingly global economy globalized the labor market. The Atlantic slave trade diminished sharply after 1820, which gave rise to self-bound contract labor migration from Europe and Asia to plantations. Overpopulation, open agricultural frontiers, and rising industrial centers attracted voluntary migrants. Moreover, migration was significantly made easier by improved transportation techniques.
Romantic nationalism also rose in the 19th century, and, with it, ethnocentrism. The great European industrial empires also rose. Both factors contributed to migration, as some countries favored their own ethnicities over outsiders and other countries appeared to be considerably more welcoming. For example, the Russian Empire identified with Eastern Orthodoxy, and confined Jews, who were not Eastern Orthodox, to the Pale of Settlement and imposed restrictions. Violence was also a problem. The United States was promoted as a better location, a "golden land" where Jews could live more openly. Another effect of imperialism, colonialism, led to the migration of some colonizing parties from "home countries" to "the colonies", and eventually the migration of people from "colonies" to "home countries".
Transnational labor migration reached a peak of three million migrants per year in the early twentieth century. Italy, Norway, Ireland and the Guangdong region of China were regions with especially high emigration rates during these years. These large migration flows influenced the process of nation state formation in many ways. Immigration restrictions have been developed, as well as diaspora cultures and myths that reflect the importance of migration to the foundation of certain nations, like the American melting pot. The transnational labor migration fell to a lower level from the 1930s to the 1960s and then rebounded.
The United States experienced considerable internal migration related to industrialization, including its African American population. From 1910 to 1970, approximately 7 million African Americans migrated from the rural Southern United States, where blacks faced both poor economic opportunities and considerable political and social prejudice, to the industrial cities of the Northeast, Midwest and West, where relatively well-paid jobs were available. This phenomenon came to be known in the United States as its own Great Migration. With the demise of legalized segregation in the 1960s and greatly improved economic opportunities in the South in the subsequent decades, millions of blacks have returned to the South from other parts of the country since 1980 in what has been called the New Great Migration.
The World Wars and their aftermath
The First and Second World Wars, and wars, genocides, and crises sparked by them, had an enormous impact on migration. Muslims moved from the Balkan to Turkey, while Christians moved the other way, during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Four hundred thousand Jews had already moved to Palestine in the early twentieth century, and numerous Jews to America, as already mentioned. The Russian Civil War caused some three million Russians, Poles, and Germans to migrate out of the new Soviet Union. Decolonization following the Second World War also caused migrations.
The Jewish communities across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East were formed from voluntary and involuntary migrants. After the Holocaust (1938 to 1945), there was increased migration to the British Mandate of Palestine, which became the modern state of Israel as a result of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
Provisions of the Potsdam Agreement from 1945 signed by victorious Western Allies and the Soviet Union led to one of the largest European migrations, and the largest in the 20th century. It involved the migration and resettlement of close to or over 20 million people. The largest affected group were 16.5 million Germans expelled from Eastern Europe westwards. The second largest group were Poles, millions of whom were expelled westwards from eastern Kresy region and resettled in the so-called Recovered Territories (see Allies decide Polish border in the article on the Oder-Neisse line). Hundreds of thousands of Poles, Ukrainians (Operation Vistula), Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and some Belarusians were expelled eastwards from Europe to the Soviet Union. Finally, many of the several hundred thousand Jews remaining in Eastern Europe after the Holocaust migrated outside Europe to Israel and the United States.
In 1947, upon the Partition of India, large populations moved from India to Pakistan and vice versa, depending on their religious beliefs. The partition was promulgated in the Indian Independence Act 1947 as a result of the dissolution of the British Indian Empire. The partition displaced up to 17 million people in the former British Indian Empire, with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million.Muslim residents of the former British India migrated to Pakistan (including East Pakistan, now Bangladesh), whilst Hindu and Sikh residents of Pakistan and Hindu residents of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) moved in the opposite direction.
In modern India, estimates based on industry sectors mainly employing migrants suggest that there are around 100 million circular migrants in India. Caste, social networks and historical precedents play a powerful role in shaping patterns of migration. Migration for the poor is mainly circular, as despite moving temporarily to urban areas, they lack the social security which might keep them there more permanently. They are also keen to maintain a foothold in home areas during the agricultural season.
Research by the Overseas Development Institute identifies a rapid movement of labour from slower- to faster-growing parts of the economy. Migrants can often find themselves excluded by urban housing policies, and migrant support initiatives are needed to give workers improved access to market information, certification of identity, housing and education.
In the riots which preceded the partition in the Punjab region, between 200,000 to 500,000 people were killed in the retributive genocide.UNHCR estimates 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced during the partition. Scholars call it the largest mass migration in human history, including historian Nigel Smith, in his book "Pakistan: History, Culture, and Government" calls this migration "history's greatest migration."
Theories for migration for work in the 21st century
Migration for work in the 21st century has become a popular way for individuals from impoverished developing countries to obtain sufficient income for survival. This income is sent home to family members in the form of remittances and has become an economic staple in a number of developing countries. There are a number of theories to explain the international flow of capital and people from one country to another.
Neoclassical economic theory
This theory of migration states that the main reason for labor migration is wage difference between two geographic locations. These wage differences are usually linked to geographic labor demand and supply. It can be said that areas with a shortage of labor but an excess of capital have a high relative wage while areas with a high labor supply and a dearth of capital have a low relative wage. Labor tends to flow from low-wage areas to high-wage areas. Often, with this flow of labor comes changes in the sending as well as the receiving country. Neoclassical economic theory is best used to describe transnational migration, because it is not confined by international immigration laws and similar governmental regulations.
Dual labor market theory
Dual labor market theory states that migration is mainly caused by pull factors in more developed countries. This theory assumes that the labor markets in these developed countries consist of two segments: primary, which requires high-skilled labor, and secondary, which is very labor-intensive but requires low-skilled workers. This theory assumes that migration from less developed countries into more developed countries is a result of a pull created by a need for labor in the developed countries in their secondary market. Migrant workers are needed to fill the lowest rung of the labor market because the native laborers do not want to do these jobs as they present a lack of mobility. This creates a need for migrant workers. Furthermore, the initial dearth in available labor pushes wages up, making migration even more enticing.
The new economics of labor migration
This theory states that migration flows and patterns cannot be explained solely at the level of individual workers and their economic incentives, but that wider social entities must be considered as well. One such social entity is the household. Migration can be viewed as a result of risk aversion on the part of a household that has insufficient income. The household, in this case, is in need of extra capital that can be achieved through remittances sent back by family members who participate in migrant labor abroad. These remittances can also have a broader effect on the economy of the sending country as a whole as they bring in capital. Recent research has examined a decline in U.S. interstate migration from 1991 to 2011, theorizing that the reduced interstate migration is due to a decline in the geographic specificity of occupations and an increase in workers’ ability to learn about other locations before moving there, through both information technology and inexpensive travel. Other researchers find that the location-specific nature of housing is more important than moving costs in determining labor reallocation.
Relative deprivation theory
Relative deprivation theory states that awareness of the income difference between neighbors or other households in the migrant-sending community is an important factor in migration. The incentive to migrate is a lot higher in areas that have a high level of economic inequality. In the short run, remittances may increase inequality, but in the long run, they may actually decrease it. There are two stages of migration for a worker: first, they invest in human capital formation, and then they try to capitalize on their investments. In this way, successful migrants may use their new capital to provide for better schooling for their children and better homes for their families. Successful high-skilled emigrants may serve as an example for neighbors and potential migrants who hope to achieve that level of success.
World systems theory
World systems theory looks at migration from a global perspective. It explains that interaction between different societies can be an important factor in social change within societies. Trade with one country, which causes economic decline in another, may create incentive to migrate to a country with a more vibrant economy. It can be argued that even after decolonization, the economic dependence of former colonies still remains on mother countries. This view of international trade is controversial, however, and some argue that free trade can actually reduce migration between developing and developed countries. It can be argued that the developed countries import labor-intensive goods, which causes an increase in employment of unskilled workers in the less developed countries, decreasing the outflow of migrant workers. The export of capital-intensive goods from rich countries to poor countries also equalizes income and employment conditions, thus also slowing migration. In either direction, this theory can be used to explain migration between countries that are geographically far apart.
- every migration flow generates a return or countermigration.
- the majority of migrants move a short distance.
- migrants who move longer distances tend to choose big-city destinations.
- urban residents are often less migratory than inhabitants of rural areas.
- families are less likely to make international moves than young adults.
- most migrants are adults.
- large towns grow by migration rather than natural increase.
- migration stage by stage.
- urban rural difference.
- migration and technology.
- economic condition.
Lee's laws divide factors causing migrations into two groups of factors: push and pull factors. Push factors are things that are unfavourable about the area that one lives in, and pull factors are things that attract one to another area.
- Not enough jobs
- Few opportunities
- Inadequate conditions
- Famine or drought
- Political fear or persecution
- Slavery or forced labour
- Poor medical care
- Loss of wealth
- Natural disasters
- Death threats
- Desire for more political or religious freedom
- Poor housing
- Landlord/tenant issues
- Poor chances of marrying
- Condemned housing (radon gas, etc.)
- Job opportunities
- Better living conditions
- The feeling of having more political and/or religious freedom
- Better medical care
- Attractive climates
- Family links
- Better chances of marrying
See also article by Gürkan Çelik, in Turkish Review: Turkey Pulls, The Netherlands Pushes? An increasing number of Turks, the Netherlands’ largest ethnic minority, are beginning to return to Turkey, taking with them the education and skills they have acquired abroad, as the Netherlands faces challenges from economic difficulties, social tension and increasingly powerful far-right parties. At the same time Turkey’s political, social and economic conditions have been improving, making returning home all the more appealing for Turks at large. (pp. 94–99)
The modern field of climate history suggests that the successive waves of Eurasian nomadic movement throughout history have had their origins in climatic cycles, which have expanded or contracted pastureland in Central Asia, especially Mongolia and the Altai. People were displaced from their home ground by other tribes trying to find land that could be grazed by essential flocks, each group pushing the next further to the south and west, into the highlands of Anatolia, the Pannonian Plain, into Mesopotamia or southwards, into the rich pastures of China. Bogumil Terminski uses the term "migratory domino effect" to describe this process in the context of Sea People invasion.
- Migration occurs because individuals search for food, sex and security outside their usual habitation. Idyorough is of the view that towns and cities are a creation of the human struggle to obtain food, sex and security. To produce food, security and reproduction, human beings must, out of necessity, move out of their usual habitation and enter into indispensable social relationships that are cooperative or antagonistic. Human beings also develop the tools and equipment to enable them to interact with nature to produce the desired food and security. The improved relationship (cooperative relationships) among human beings and improved technology further conditioned by the push and pull factors all interact together to cause or bring about migration and higher concentration of individuals into towns and cities. The higher the technology of production of food and security and the higher the cooperative relationship among human beings in the production of food and security and in the reproduction of the human species, the higher would be the push and pull factors in the migration and concentration of human beings in towns and cities. Countryside, towns and cities do not just exist but they do so to meet the human basic needs of food, security and the reproduction of the human species. Therefore, migration occurs because individuals search for food, sex and security outside their usual habitation. Social services in the towns and cities are provided to meet these basic needs for human survival and pleasure.
- Zipf's Inverse distance law (1956)
- Gravity model of migration and the friction of distance
- Buffer Theory
- Stouffer's theory of intervening opportunities (1940)
- Zelinsky's Mobility Transition Model (1971)
- Bauder's regulation of labor markets (2006) "suggests that the international migration of workers is necessary for the survival of industrialized economies...[It] turns the conventional view of international migration on its head: it investigates how migration regulates labor markets, rather than labor markets shaping migration flows."
Notes and references
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- South Sudan#Independence .282011.29
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- Note that India, Russia and the UK figure in both lists, as they have both substantial immigration and substantial emigration, but also because the ranking is by absolute numbers and thus favours large countries.
- The 90-page Report, along with supporting evidence, is available on the GCIM website gcim.org
- Literature: Göran Burenhult: Die ersten Menschen, Weltbild Verlag, 2000. ISBN 3-8289-0741-5
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- Migrations-&-World History
- The Le Dynasty and Southward Expansion
- From Ming to Qing
- "The Colombian Mosaic in Colonial America" by James Axtell
- David Eltis Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic slave trade
- Report on a New Policy for the Ainu: A Critique
- See World of our Fathers, by Irving Howe, and particularly the first sixty or so pages of that book
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- Great Migration, accessed 12/7/2007
- Patrick Manning, Migration in World History (2005) p 132-162.
- Adam McKeown, 'Global migration, 1846-1940' in: Journal of Global History (June 2004).
- Pakistan:History, Culture, and Government by Nigel Smith, Page 112
- Metcalf, Barbara; Metcalf, Thomas R. (2006), A Concise History of Modern India (Cambridge Concise Histories), Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Pp. xxxiii, 372, ISBN 0-521-68225-8.
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- Jennissen, R. 2007. “Causality Chains in the International Migration Systems Approach.” Population Research and Policy Review 26(4). 411 – 36.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Understanding the Long-Run Decline in Interstate Migration, April 2012
- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, The Role of Housing in Labor Reallocation, November 2010
- Everett S. Lee (1966). "A Theory of Migration". University of Pennsylvania. JSTOR 2060063.
- Terminski, Bogumil. Environmentally-Induced Displacement. Theoretical Frameworks and Current Challenges. CEDEM, Université de Liège, 2012
- Idyorough, 2008
- Bauder, Harald. Labor Movement: How Migration Regulates Labor Markets. Oxford University Press, 1st edition, February 2006, English, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-19-518088-6
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- Behdad, Ali. A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in the United States, Duke UP, 2005.
- Jared Diamond, Guns, germs and steel. A short history of everybody for the last 13'000 years, 1997.
- De La Torre, Miguel A., Trails of Terror: Testimonies on the Current Immigration Debate, Orbis Books, 2009.
- Fell, Peter and Hayes, Debra. What are they doing here? A critical guide to asylum and immigration, Birmingham (UK): Venture Press, 2007.
- Hoerder, Dirk. Cultures in Contact. World Migrations in the Second Millennium, Duke University Press, 2002
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- Knörr, Jacqueline. Women and Migration. Anthropological Perspectives, Frankfurt & New York: Campus Verlag & St. Martin's Press, 2000.
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- Migration for Employment, Paris: OECD Publications, 2004.
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- Pécoud, Antoine and Paul de Guchteneire (Eds): Migration without Borders, Essays on the Free Movement of People (Berghahn Books, 2007)
- Abdelmalek Sayad. The Suffering of the Immigrant, Preface by Pierre Bourdieu, Polity Press, 2004.
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- International Migration Review
- Migration Letters
- International Migration
- Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
- Review of Economics of the Household
- OECD International Migration Outlook 2007 (subscription service)
- The Short Life of José Antonio Gutierrez
- El Inmigrante, Directors: David Eckenrode, John Sheedy, John Eckenrode. 2005. 90 min. (U.S./Mexico)
- Early human migrations
- Environmental migrant
- Existential migration
- Feminization of migration
- Illegal immigration
- Religion and human migration
- Jewish Diaspora
- Job migration
- Linguistic Diversity in Space and Time
- List of diasporas
- Migrant literature
- Immigration to Europe
- Migration in the People's Republic of China
- Most recent common ancestor
- Political demography
- Population mobility
- Refugee roulette
- Replacement migration
- Separation barrier
- Settler colonialism
- Snowbird (people)
- Space colonization
- Queer Migration
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Human migration.|
- iom.int, The International Organization for Migration
- CIA World Factbook gives up-to-date statistics on net immigration by country.
- Western Sahara and Migration
- Stalker's Guide to International Migration Comprehensive interactive guide to modern migration issues, with maps and statistics
- Integration : Building Inclusive Societies (IBIS) UN Alliance of Civilizations online community on good practices of integration of migrants across the world
- migrations in history
- The importance of migrants in the modern world
- Mass migration as a travel business