INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION

What Makes People Want to Migrate? One Chart Sums It Up

Worse-off individuals in worse-off societies are more likely to look abroad. But that’s just one trend in a motley picture.

Jørgen Carling
Feb 3 · 8 min read
Photo by Harits Mustya Pratama
The effect of being married (or cohabiting) on migration aspirations. Each bubble represents a published survey-based analysis, with an ID number. (Source: Aslany, Carling, Mjelva and Sommerfelt 2021)
As a rule, marriage makes people less inclined to migrate. But in Kyrgyzstan, newly married couples without children are often seen to be well-prepared for tackling the hardships of migration. (Photo by Irene Strong)
The effect of income on migration aspirations. Each bubble represents a published survey-based analysis, with an ID number. (Source: Aslany, Carling, Mjelva and Sommerfelt 2021)
In Sub-Saharan Africa, higher incomes are associated with higher likelihood of wishing to migrate. In South Korea, for instance, the relationship is the opposite. (Photo by Jephthah Ojeyinka)
Determinants of migration aspirations, concluded from a systematic review of 72 analyses across 49 articles based on survey data. (Source: Aslany, Carling, Mjelva and Sommerfelt 2021)

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