| Back | Unit G2   Changing Human Environments
Theme 1 Investigation Population Change
  Theories of Migration  
  You need to understand that there are different theories of migration and be aware of models such as those of Ravenstein, Lee, Stouffer and the Gravity Model.  
  You should understand that the models provide useful frameworks for illustrating basic concepts of human movement.  
  You should have detailed knowledge of at least one model and of its application.  
  A brief summary of Models of Migration (in Chronological Order)  
  Models of Migration - PowerPoint from Geographyalltheway  
  Game activity  

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  Uses of Models of Migration  
  • They simplify a complicated real world to aid understanding
  • They remove obscuring details so that general principles can be seen.
  • They are adaptable and can be applied to a variety of different migration case studies.
  • Although some models such as like Ravenstein's laws were devised during the 1880s the findings are still valid.
  Patterns of Migration according to Ravenstein (Source: Nagle)  

  Limitations of Models of Migration  
  All the models are simplifications and they contain hidden assumptions. These assumptions can be unrealistic:
  • that all people are free to migrate
  • that all people have the skills, education and qualifications which allow them to move.
  • that there are minimal barriers to migration, such as race, class, income, language and gender
  • that distance is not a major factor in migration.
  Lee's Model  

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Chrispin and Jegede
  What are 'intervening obstacles'?  

  What do you think are 'intervening places'?  

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  Decision-Making Model  

  BBC Scotland
  Read the case study of Christina - identify 'intervening obstacles' and 'intervening places' in her migration from Mexico to the USA.  
  Read the articles about migration in Uganda  

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  More than two decades of fighting between the LRA and the government military forced 1.8 million people to become internally displaced in the north of Uganda. Refugees International
  Migration to Kampala (the capital city of Uganda)  

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Source: Ghetto Radio
  1. Identify at least three different types of migrations here. Make notes about migrations to Kampala.  
  In 1966 Lee proposed a model to explain migration. He suggested that migration takes place in response to factors operating in the migrants place of origin and in one or more places of destination. Lee listed these factors as +ve, -ve or 0 (neutral). It is the balance of +ve and -ve factors that influences the incidence of migration and its direction.  
  2. List positive and negative factors associated with rural-urban migration in Uganda. Draw a table like this aiming for at least 4 points in each column. Think 'social, economic and environmental' 'push and pull' factors.  

Rural Area

Urban Area
Positive Negative Positive Negative
  Dustbin Game - to help with identification of Lee's +ve and -ve factors  

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  Africans are highly mobile with most rural-urban migrants planning to return to their homes at some time in the future. The image below is a simple model of rural-urban migration for Africa. Source: Parnwell 1993  
  3. What types of people are likely to leave rural areas for the city?
    What types of people are likely to return to the rural areas?
    What are the likely costs and benefits to rural areas from these   
    migrations? (try to list at least 4 costs and 4 benefits)
  Venn Diagram - to help you.  

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  4. Suggest some political policies that could be implemented in an attempt to stem out-migration from rural areas.  
  5. How far do these real African migration case studies below match up with the 'theoretical model' used in the activity?  

Of particular interest has been the rapid and extensive rural-urban migration, which has played an important role in Ghana's economic and social transformation. Most migration occurs among those ages 15-29, and the propensity to migrate increases sharply with duration of formal education. Migrants are more likely to come from the poorest rural areas or from larger centres where educational levels are highest. Distance also plays a role, with the least migration coming from remote villages. The major motivation in migration is the cash economy and job opportunities present in the urban areas. As the sex differential in rural education decreases, girls are becoming almost as likely as boys to want to migrate. Because most rural households have at least 1 member living in a town, over 75% of aspiring migrants visit the towns before migrating. This gives them more realistic expectations and increases their chances of migratory success. Links with the villages remain strong, with over 2/3 of migrants visiting the home village at least once a year. Over 90% of migrants expect to return to the villages when their economically active years are over. There is a considerable flow of cash from urban to rural areas. At least 1/3 of rural households receive money from relatives in the towns, and 1/3 of them claim they would be "very poor" without it. Since men are likely to migrate with their families or be joined by them shortly, Ghanaian migration has not been accompanied by family breakup.  Ghana's urban population is expected to double from 1985-2000. By 1980 the country will have more urban than rural residents.
Caldwell 1969


There are estimated to be between 20 and 50 million migrants in Africa, although statistical data on migration flows are incomplete and often outdated. The most important countries of immigration are Côte d’Ivoire and South Africa, whilst Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Cape Verde, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Gambia and South Africa are all significant countries of emigration.
Internal migration involves men, women and children, and includes rural-rural, urban-rural and urban-urban flows as well as rural-urban movements.
Links between rural and urban areas developed by migration are significant in promoting remittances, encouraging community level initiatives for the construction of public facilities and infrastructure, and linking rural producers to urban markets. Although evidence is patchy, patterns of internal migration appear to have been affected by economic crisis and structural adjustment, with some arguing that a long trend of urbanisation across the continent has been stopped or even reversed, sometimes with negative effects on rural livelihoods.
Migration to Europe and the United States is predominantly of educated individuals, giving rise to considerable concern over the issue of ‘brain drain’. International migrants remit significant amounts of money to Africa. http://www.livelihoods.org/hot_topics/docs/Africa.pdf 2004