Net migration rate

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Net migration rates for 2016. Legend:
  no data

The net migration rate is the difference between the number of immigrants (people coming into an area) and the number of emigrants (people leaving an area) throughout the year.[1] When the number of immigrants is larger than the number of emigrants, a positive net migration rate occurs. A positive net migration rates indicates that there are more people entering than leaving an area. So when we have more emigrants than immigrants the result is a negative net migration rate, meaning that more people are leaving than entering the area. When there is an equal amount of immigrants and emigrants, the net migration rate is balanced.

The net migration rate is calculated over a one-year period using the mid year population[2] and a ratio.

Migration occurs over a series of different push and pull factors that revolve around social, political, economical, and environmental factors according to Migration Trends.[3] Social migration is when an individual migrates to have a higher standard of living or to be closer to family. Political migration then is when you are going in as a refugee to escape war or political persecution. Economical migration is moving to a place where one can aspire to have a career and better job opportunities which end up contributing to better living conditions. Lastly, environmental migration is when natural disasters force you to move into a new area. Once we analyze all of the migrating factors we can get to the idea that the net migration rate can tell us so much about a country. For example, if there are a lot of people coming in and not many leaving we can assume it is a wealthy country that keeps evolving and generating more and more opportunities. On the other hand, if not many people are coming in and many are leaving it is easy to assume that there is a chance of violence, low economy, or not enough resources to fulfill the existing population.

Formula and Example[edit]

N = (I - E) / M X 1,000[4]

N = Net Migration Rate

I = Number of Immigrants Entering the Area

E = Number of Emigrants Leaving the Area

M = Mid Year Population

At the start of the year, country A had a population of 1,000,000. Throughout the year there was a total of 200,000 people that immigrated to (entered) country A, and 100,000 people that emigrated from (left) country A. Throughout the year there was a total of 100,000 births and 100,000 deaths. What is the net migration rate?

First, find the mid year population for country A.

M = Population at Start of Year + Population at End of Year / 2

M = 1,000,000 + (1,000,000 + 200,000 - 100,000) / 2

M = 1,000,000 + 1,100,000 / 2

M = 2,100,000 / 2

M = 1,050,000

The mid year population for country A is 1,050,000.

Second,find the net migration for country A and please keep in mind this is simply the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants, not the actual rate.

I - E = 200,000 - 100,000

I - E = 100,000

The net migration for country A is 100,000.

Third, plug your findings into the formula to find the net migration rate for country A.

N = (I - E) / M X 1,000

N = 100,000 / 1,050,000 X 1,000

N = 95.23809523809524

N = 95.2

The net migration rate for country A is 95.2 per 1,000 people. This means that for every 1,000 people in country A at the beginning of the year, 95.2 will have immigrated to country A by the end of the year. This number numerically shows the impact of migration on the country's population and allows for the comparison of country A's net migration rate to other country's net migration rate.


Net migration has a major key role in every single country. Like mentioned before if a country has a high migration rate is it seen as wealthy and developed. In contrast a country with a low rate is seen as undeveloped, having political problems, and lacking resources its citizens need. Every country needs a stable number of people going in and out of their territory in order to have a stable economy. If the number of people coming in is greater than the number of people leaving, there will be a greater demand of resources and a tighter yet growing economy. On the other hand, a country with a lower migration rate will most likely lose many of its available resources due to a lack of consumerism and production. Other occurring problems caused by net migration is a rise in the dependency ratio, higher demand on government resources, and public congestion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liu, Ben-chieh (1975-01-01). "Differential Net Migration Rates and the Quality of Life". The Review of Economics and Statistics. 57 (3): 329–337. doi:10.2307/1923917. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-05-04.  External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ "BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Why do people migrate?". Retrieved 2017-04-05. 
  4. ^ "Net Migration Rate: Definition, Formula & Statistics - Video & Lesson Transcript |". Retrieved 2017-03-29. 

External links[edit]