Migration, in simple words, is a movement of human population from one place to another. This movement has two ends to it: one is the country of origin and the other is the host country. This OpinionFront article simplifies how emigration and immigration are different from each other.
South-North or North-South migration has nothing to do with geography. These are terms for populations migrating from low-income countries to high-income countries or vice versa.
In demographic context, migration is mainly considered to be from one country to another. The story of “We the People” signifies even more how the process of migration gradually gave birth to a new nation altogether. Emigration and immigration have always been of great significance to the American history. Based on the place of movement, migration is generally classified into:
1. Internal (within a country, for example rural to urban migration)
2. Intercontinental (between different continents) and
3. Intracontinental (within the same continent).
Migrations have been going on for a long time. Their patterns have, thus, changed according to the needs of the changing times. In olden days, if it were rulers of ancient kingdoms crossing seas for invading enemy lands, in recent history, it was for something exotic and precious, like spices and gold. In today’s times, migration trends have shown a change before and after globalization. Having said that, let’s come down to understand why people migrate in the first place.
Causes of Migration
Push factors: Poor economic scenario, natural calamities (like droughts, floods, earthquakes, tsunami), lack of freedom (cultural or religious), political instability, and poor educational infrastructure in the country of origin can be some important factors pushing people to emigrate to foreign countries.
Pull factors: A stable polity and growing economy, high-income countries with a good social milieu, and better standard of living are some factors that attract people to a specific country or countries.
Depending on the country that is being considered, migrations across the globe are classified into:
Emigration: It is when a person goes out of his/her country of origin to reside and settle in another country. It can be a temporary or permanent settlement.
To understand its usage in a sentence, it might be easy to remember that emigration is associated with leaving a place, an exit, or saying ‘goodbye’ to someone. The following sentences make it clear:
1. Not all countries encourage emigration to foreign lands.
2. The English emigrants traveled and set up colonies across the world.
3. Turkish emigrants constitute a significant portion of the German population.
Immigration: It is when a person from a foreign land comes to reside or settle in a particular country, also known as the host country.
Its use comes in at the point of destination, when the process of travel ends. So, it can be associated with moving in to some place, coming in, or with the ‘welcome’ gesture. For instance:
1. A variety of ethnic groups have, at different points of time in history,immigrated to the United States of America.
2. Immigration checks are a must in every country at the point of entry.
3. Immigrants have their own problems while getting adapted to a new culture and society.
4. Student immigration for higher studies to developed nations continues to rise.
|Meaning of the Term|
|Going out of a country.||Coming in to a country.|
|Economic data estimation|
|It is difficult to estimate any economic impacts like labor productivity, as the person has left the country.||It is easier for estimating economic impacts, as the person resides in the country.|
|Earn remittances – Income from abroad helps individuals and adds to the treasury of the country of origin.||There is addition to labor force, particularly when it is a highly skilled workforce.
|The burden on national resources is lessened, especially in case of overpopulous countries.||It is economically cheap and rewarding for labor-intensive types of work.|
|Brain drain: It is a theory, which says that a country loses its well-educated, intelligent group of workers, as they settle abroad in search of better opportunities.||There is strain on national resources.|
|Demographic changes: Loss of working age population occurs, leaving certain towns with only women, children, and elderly or only the elderly―such towns are called “ghost towns” in Mexico.||Competition for jobs exists; the natives feel insecure.|
|Majority of the emigrants are mostly males, so it disturbs their family structure back home.||There is difficulty in taking policy-level decisions as immigration policies change depending on the political relations with every country, ethnicity, and such factors. Capping the immigration limit, as well as forming further rules regarding their rights and naturalization process may be some issues too.|
Talking about the positive and negative impacts of these two, it is no more a case where immigration can always be labeled as the culprit. Emigration and its disadvantages also need to be paid attention to.
Emigration causes a human resource loss to a nation, for which hardly any immigrant population can compensate. For example, migration studies conducted for European countries have shown that the resident non-migrant population of a country could not avoid the repercussions caused due to ‘brain drain’, as they were not as capable or as skilled a group of intellectuals as the population going out.
Earlier, the flow of migrants was mostly from the developing nations to the developed ones, but it is not just that anymore. Now, professionals from well-to-do economies also move back to their countries of origin. An example would be of former Indian immigrants returning to India from the United States showing remigration.