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What are the Pull and Push factors of migration?
People migrate for a number of reasons. These reasons may fall under these four areas: Environmental, Economic, Cultural and Socio-political. Within that, the reasons may also be ‘push’ or ‘pull’ factors.
Push factors are those that force the individual to move voluntarily, and in many cases, they are forced because the individual risk something if they stay. Push factors may include conflict, drought, famine, or extreme religious activity.
Poor economic activity and lack of job opportunities are also strong push factors for migration. Other strong push factors include race and discriminating cultures, political intolerance and persecution of people who question the status quo.
Pull factors are those factors in the destination country that attract the individual or group to leave their home. Those factors are known as place utility, which is the desirability of a place that attracts people. Better economic opportunities, more jobs, and the promise of a better life often pull people into new locations.
Sometimes individuals have ideas and perceptions about places that are not necessarily correct, but are strong pull factors for that individual. As people grow older and retire, many look for places with warm weather, peaceful and comfortable locations to spend their retirement after a lifetime of hard work and savings. Such ideal places are pull factors too.
Very often, people consider and prefer opportunities closer to their location than similar opportunities farther away. In the same vein, people often like to move to places with better cultural, political, climatic and general terrain in closer locations than locations farther away. It is rare to find people move over very long distances to settle in places that they have little knowledge of.