the factors influencing economic migration

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Migration for jobs, more money, better living conditions and an improved financial status is called economic migration. There are many types of migration like family migration, asylum migration, economic migration and forced migration. This essay focuses on what economic migration is, and the factors influencing economic migration.

According to Hampshire (2002) “Migration is seen as a strategy of income maximization and is often portrayed as being driven by poverty and the failure of rural livelihoods”. People after facing hardships, not earning sufficient money and after living in the clutches of poverty for a long time move from rural areas towards areas where jobs can be found, which can make them leave poverty behind and help them to live a comfortable life with the basic physiological needs: proper shelter, clothing and food. The gap in the salary paid to employees doing the same job is so wide between rich and poor countries, that it encourages people to leave their home country in order to move to a completely new unknown place which provides hope for a better life in the future for them and their children.

Social factors like high unemployment, low paid jobs and a low standard of living compel people to migrate internationally to developed countries, and from rural areas of developed countries to urban areas; in search of more lucrative jobs. When unemployed low skilled labourers, and farmers with no money to grow crops are really troubled, and they don't have a way out; they migrate to new places to work, earn money and return to their country to buy land and to settle down in their countries and live a comfortable life. Low skilled labour migration from Poland to UK took place in 2004 and 540,000 people migrated after the enlargement of the European Union. Due to the really bad condition of the polish economy farmers and unemployed people without jobs left Poland in very huge numbers and went to the UK for employment. (Fihel and Kaczmarczyl, 2009)

However, it's not only about the labour looking for better jobs, but also about the skilled labour migrating to foreign countries. Encouragement is also provided by the countries which have a deficiency of high skilled labour. Political factors like having lenient immigration rules for skilled labour also contribute largely towards economic migration. According to Parliament, House of Commons, European Committee (2008) EU countries tempt the skilled labour from Asian countries to come to the western countries by providing them with EU blue card, equal rights and higher salary to full fill their job vacancies and so that their industries run smoothly . Not having to fill an extra application and waiting for the work permit “(i.e. getting the blue card)” helps the people in making their decision. People tend to leave their homes to leave their low standard of living behind and to move to the western countries for more money. Money is not the only criterion that people think about, the various facilities provided by the government are also factors that attract the people who already have good jobs, and furthermore the opportunity to get equal rights is an offer which is really difficult for anyone to refuse. In the 1960's after the relaxation of Asian immigration rules by countries like Canada, US, New Zealand and Australia there was a major movement of skilled labour from the Asia pacific region to developed countries. (Iredale, 2000)

To conclude, migration in search of a more financially stable life is called Economic migration. It is influenced most prominently by social factors like unemployment, bad state of the economy, low paid jobs. Political factors like relaxed and lenient immigration rules and filling only one application instead of two influences people to migrate internally and internationally in search of a better life.


Fihel, A. & Kaczmarczyl, P. (2009). “Migration: A Threat or a Chance? Recent Migration of Poles and its Impact on the Polish Labour Market”, in Polish Migration to the UK in the New European Union, K. Burrell ed. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Surrey, pp. 23-48.

Hampshire, K. (2002). “Fulani on the Move: Seasonal Economic Migration in the Sahel as a Social Process”, in Labour Mobility and Rural Society, A. Haan & B. Rogaly eds. Frank Cass Publishers, London, pp. 15-36. Online at: Accessed 18 November 2009.

Iredale, R. (2000). “Migration Policies for the Highly Skilled in the Asia-Pacific Region”, International Migration Review, 34, (3), pp. 882-906. Online at: Accessed 18 November 2009.

Parliament, House of Commons, European Committee (2008). Economic Migration to the EU, The Stationary Office Limited, London. Online at: Accessed 18 November 2009.