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Cross-National Comparisons of Internal Migration

Author

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  • Martin Bell

    (Queensland Centre for Population Research, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, at the University of Queensland)

  • Salut Muhidin

    (Queensland Centre for Population Research, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, at the University of Queensland)

Abstract

Internal migration is the most significant process driving changes in the pattern of human settlement across much of the world, yet remarkably few attempts have been made to compare internal migration between countries. Differences in data collection, in geography and in measurement intervals seriously hinder rigorous cross-national comparisons. We supplement data from the University of Minnesota IPUMS collection to make comparisons between 28 countries using both five year and lifetime measures of migration, and focusing particularly on migration intensity and spatial impacts. We demonstrate that Courgeau's k (Courgeau 1973) provides a powerful mechanism to transcend differences in statistical geography. Our results reveal widespread differences in the intensity of migration, and in the ages at which it occurs, with Asia generally displaying low mobility and sharp, early peaks, whereas Latin America and the Developed Countries show higher mobility and flatter age profiles usually peaking at older ages. High mobility is commonly offset by corresponding counter-flows but redistribution through internal migration is substantial in some countries, especially when computed as a lifetime measure. Time series comparisons show five year migration intensities falling in most countries (China being a notable exception), although lifetime data show more widespread rises due to age structure effects. Globally, we estimate that 740 million people, one in eight, were living within their home country but outside their region of birth, substantially above the commonly cited figure of 200 million international migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Bell & Salut Muhidin, 2009. "Cross-National Comparisons of Internal Migration," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-30, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Jul 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-30
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Aude Bernard & Alina Pelikh, 2019. "Distinguishing tempo and ageing effects in migration," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 40(44), pages 1291-1322.
    3. Lessmann, Christian, 2013. "Foreign direct investment and regional inequality: A panel data analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 129-149.
    4. Jaime Sobrino, 2013. "Analysing internal migration pathways in Mexico," Chapters, in: Peter Karl Kresl & Jaime Sobrino (ed.), Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies, chapter 16, pages 396-422, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Smriti Rao & Kade Finnoff, 2015. "Marriage Migration and Inequality in India, 1983–2008," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(3), pages 485-505, September.
    6. Killian Foubert & Ilse Ruyssen, 2021. "Leaving terrorism behind? Impact of terrorist attacks on migration intentions around the world," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 21/1021, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. Eva-Maria Egger & Julie Litchfield, 2019. "Following in their footsteps: an analysis of the impact of successive migration on rural household welfare in Ghana," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-22, December.
    8. Chauvin, Juan Pablo & Glaeser, Edward & Ma, Yueran & Tobio, Kristina, 2017. "What is different about urbanization in rich and poor countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 17-49.
    9. Martin Bell & Elin Charles-Edwards & Philipp Ueffing & John Stillwell & Marek Kupiszewski & Dorota Kupiszewska, 2015. "Internal Migration and Development: Comparing Migration Intensities Around the World," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(1), pages 33-58, March.
    10. Eva-Maria Egger & Julie Litchfield, 2019. "Following in their footsteps: an analysis of the impact of successive migration on rural household welfare in Ghana," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-22, December.
    11. Omar S. Arias & Carolina Sánchez-Páramo & María E. Dávalos & Indhira Santos & Erwin R. Tiongson & Carola Gruen & Natasha de Andrade Falcão & Gady Saiovici & Cesar A. Cancho, 2014. "Back to Work : Growing with Jobs in Europe and Central Asia," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 16570.
    12. Els BEKEART & Ilse RUYSSEN & Sara SALOMONE, 2021. "Domestic and International Migration Intentions in Response to Environmental Stress: A Global Cross-country Analysis," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 383-436, September.
    13. Aude Bernard & Francisco Rowe & Martin Bell & Philipp Ueffing & Elin Charles-Edwards, 2017. "Comparing internal migration across the countries of Latin America: A multidimensional approach," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(3), pages 1-24, March.
    14. Kumar, Dr.B.Pradeep, 2016. "Contours of Internal Migration in India: Certain Experiences from Kerala," MPRA Paper 80586, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jun 2016.
    15. Aude Bernard & Martin Bell & Elin Charles-Edwards, 2016. "Internal migration age patterns and the transition to adulthood: Australia and Great Britain compared," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 123-146, June.
    16. Miguel, Edward & Hamory, Joan, 2009. "Individual Ability and Selection into Migration in Kenya," MPRA Paper 19228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Kalandi Charan Pradhan & K. Narayanan, 2019. "Intensity of labour migration and its determinants: insights from Indian semi-arid villages," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 955-994, October.
    18. Zuzana Zilincikova & Christine Schnor, 2021. "Who moves out and who keeps the home? Short-term and medium-term mobility consequences of grey divorce in Belgium," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 45(9), pages 291-328.
    19. Hagen-Zanker, Jessica, 2010. "Modest expectations: Causes and effects of migration on migrant households in source countries," MPRA Paper 29507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Abrigo, Michael R.M. & Racelis, Rachel H. & Salas, J.M. Ian & Herrin, Alejandro N., 2016. "Decomposing economic gains from population age structure transition in the Philippines," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 8(C), pages 19-27.
    21. Kerstin Mitterbacher, 2021. "Motives for economic migration: a review," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2021-07, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
    22. Rodríguez Vignoli, Jorge, 2017. "Effects of internal migration on the human settlements system in Latin America and the Caribbean," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    23. Barua, Rashmi & Shastry, Gauri Kartini & Yang, Dean, 2020. "Financial education for female foreign domestic workers in Singapore," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    24. Aksoy, Ozan & Yıldırım, Sinan, 2020. "A model of dynamic migration networks: Explaining Turkey's inter-provincial migration flows," SocArXiv rf724, Center for Open Science.
    25. Sebastian Klüsener & Aiva Jasilioniene & Victoriya Yuodeshko, 2019. "Retraditionalization as a pathway to escape lowest-low fertility? Characteristics and prospects of the Eastern European “baby boom”," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2019-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internal migration; comparative analysis; migration intensity; redistribution; age; geography; lifetime; IPUMS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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