Two (2) types of human migration.

Migration can be defined as the movement of people from one place to another, which includes either a permanent or temporary change of home. It also involves seasonal and daily movements. It includes movements between countries, continents and within a country or a continent.

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Types of Migration

There are several types of migrations depending on where people move to and from. Thus you have internal, external, international, temporary, seasonal and permanent migration. We are going to learn what is involved in each type.

Internal migration


This refers to population movement within a country, say for example, within the borders of Tanzania. People who have moved from their original residences in some settlements to other settlements are described as internal migrants. The movement can be described as being local. It can also be used to describe the movement of people within a specific continent say Africa. If people move within African countries the migration may be described as being internal  with respect to the African continent. The movement can also be described as being local to the African continent. 
Internal migration may either be temporary or permanent. Examples of permanent internal migration include rural-urban migration, region to region migration, rural rural, urban – rural and urban-urban. Internal migration involves mainly movement from rural to urban areas. This is the most important form of migration affecting the world nowadays.
Examples of temporary migration include seasonal movements like from villages to lands or cattle posts during rainy seasons, weekly/monthly or periodic and daily movements. For example, from farming areas to towns to sell the farm produce.. People have several reasons why they move within their own countries or locally.

Internal or local migration includes: 

  • Rural-urban migration in which large numbers of people leave rural areas to seek jobs in urban areas. 
  • Regional migration in which people leave certain regions and move to other regions for a higher amount of rainfall and better soils.  
  • Seasonal movements like when people move in one season to the lands to grow crops and back to the villages after harvest.  
  • Daily movements which includes rural to rural daily movements from homesteads to fields or grazing areas and urban to urban commuting to work places.  
  • Urban to rural e.g. people in towns retiring from work, going back to their original villages.

You now know a lot about internal movements or migration. This is because you are somehow part of this type of migration. Note that not all movements take place internally, sometimes people move outside their boundaries or boarders. Let us now look at international migration.

International migration

This describes the movement of people between countries which involves greater distances than is the case with internal migration. In this movement people leave their home country for a foreign one to face a completely different physical and social environment. Just like with internal  migration, it can be either permanent or temporary. It includes:

  • Movement of people from one region to another which may be within a continent; for example some Tanzanians, some Zambians and some Zimbabweans migrate to South African Witwatersrand for work. It may also be between continents, like people from developed go to developing countries and vice versa for various reasons. 
  • Movement of people from a developing country to a developed one is also known as intercontinental migration. For example, the movement of Botswana students to USA, UK and Australia.  
  • Seasonal movement of some people from a developed country to a developing one for a pleasant climate or just for pleasure (tourism purposes).

It is important to know that some movements made by people are compulsory or forced and others are voluntary. Compulsory movements come about as a result of being unhappy due to violence or ill-treatment in an area. They result from warfare, civil strife and persecution. These conditions cause people to migrate as refugees. Many of the compulsory or forced migrations that have taken place have either resulted from religious, political or economic reasons. An example of forced movement is that of slave trade (removal of the black Africans from Africa to work in the plantations of the recipient countries) began by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century and later by the Spanish, Dutch, French and British. Forced migration can also occur as a result of natural disasters like frequent floods, volcanic eruptions and famine.
Voluntary movements are by human choice. People make decisions to move for various reasons, which may be physical, economic, political or social. Concerning physical reasons people may want to move from a dry area to a wet one or from an extremely cold area to a warm one. Economical reasons: people may move from areas where
there is scarcity of jobs to where there are more jobs. Political reasons: people may decide to leave politically unstable areas to the politically stable one.

We hope that you have found this article useful. why people move from one place to another? Share your answer in the comment below.

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