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International Migration

In GCSE Geography students will look at both long-term and short-term international migration, studying the various causes - such as economic, social or political reasons. This quiz looks at some of push and pull factors behind migration and also the advantages and disadvantages of migration for the nations concerned.

In 2015 Europe watched as refugees flooded in from the south, trying to escape the war in Syria. This was an example of international migration. Opinion on the matter was divided, with some people thinking that MEDCs have a duty to assist those who are less fortunate, and others arguing that Europe had its own financial difficulties so it was up to someone else to deal with these displaced people.

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There are a variety of different types of, and reasons for, international migrations. Short and long term migration as well as economic, social, environmental, and political migration are just a few. During the summer months hundreds of young adults migrate to Britain to work in summer camps caring for and teaching young children. Equally, hundreds of young adults leave Britain for the summer to work in summer camps overseas - these two are examples of short term economic migration.

Some parts of Britain have been shaped by migration patterns, for example Liverpool - a port city. Liverpool has well established China and Jamaica Towns and is culturally mixed, with Irish, Scottish, and Welsh populations all within an English city whose classic dish (scouse) came from Norwegian sailors!

It’s important not to forget internal migration trends and patterns. Many coastal towns are popular retirement locations, whilst many city centres have better job opportunities. Short term migration also occurs each September as university students move to university towns and cities, with some cities seeing a population increase of tens of thousands. As industries close it is possible that people will migrate from areas of high unemployment towards areas where there is more chance of getting a job.

Can you describe the difference between political and economic migration, or push and pull factors? Have a go at this quiz and see how well you've understood the causes of migration.

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  1. Which of these is a push factor for emigration from the UK?
    One reason for migration from the UK to Spain is the warmer and sunnier climate. This leads to many people retiring in places such as Spain, reducing the spending power of the grey pound (money spent by retirees) in the UK
  2. War, famine, and natural disasters may lead to migration from the effected country to a poorer, neighbouring country. Which of the following is a positive of people fleeing to an impoverished nation, for the destination country?
    People moving from the Darfur region of Sudan to eastern Chad have been forced to live in refugee camps, putting a huge strain on the resources of Chad
  3. What does the term immigration mean?
    Immigration is often discussed in term of the negative impacts. However, people may be attracted to a country for various reasons, including their skills meeting that country's labour shortages
  4. Migration into the UK has been encouraged during some periods of history. Immediately after World War II Britain encouraged migration from other Commonwealth countries. Why did Britian need immigration?
    A combination of loss of life during the war and a need to build up the country after the destruction it suffered during the war, meant that a larger work force was needed
  5. Which of the following is a push factor for migration?
    Push factors will force a person to leave a nation, sometimes without a definite idea where they will settle
  6. How is a refugee defined?
    Refugees may be unable to return home due to a genuine fear of death or persecution
  7. The term 'human capital flight', is better known as brain drain. This is the movement of intelligent, well-educated individuals from their native lands to other nations with better pay and conditions. Former European colonies in Africa suffer a high level of brain drain. Which of the following is a positive impact of brain drain?
    Since these colonial nations often speak English as a second, or even first language, it is easy enough for them to move to the UK or USA and gain employment - thus taking those skills out of their native country
  8. Which of the following is not a type of short-term migration?
    Retirement can be a reason for long term international migration - meaning that the UK loses the so called 'grey pound' (money that is spent by pensioners in the local economy)
  9. Why do some people disagree with economic migration into the UK?
    Economic migration is different to those with genuine refugee status. Economic migrants can return to their homelands if they have to
  10. What does the term emigration mean?
    Emigration can be due to push factors from the home country (like unemployment, or security risk), or pull factors from another country (higher wages, better standard of healthcare etc.)

Author: Ruth M

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