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SOCI 121 Population Problems M IGRATION : T RANSITION , S ELECTIVITY , AND C AUSES Objectives: Describe the migration transition Discuss causes of migration Identify the typical characteristics of migrants Class Notes: The Migration Transition In the premodern world, rates of migration typically were fairly low, just as birth and death rates were generally high. The demographic transition helped to unleash migration, and it is now evident that a migration transition has occurred virtually everywhere in concert with the fertility and mortality transitions. o Daviss theory of demographic change and response suggests that migration is an adaptation that humans can make to adjust to pressure on local resources generated by population increase. However, people generally do not move at random they tend to go where they believe opportunity exists. Because the demographic transition occurred historically in the context of economic development, which involves the centralization of economic functions in cities, migrants have been drawn to cities, and the urban transition is central to the migration transition. The migration transition within countries is essentially the story of population growth in rural areas leading to a redundancy of that population, so people look to cities for jobs and a livelihood. o Initially the movement of people within a country is from rural to urban areas. o Eventually, the size of the rural population stabilizes at the relatively low fraction of the total population that is required to grow food and harvest any other natural resources required by the nations economy. At such a stage, it may no longer be appropriate to speak of a migration transition, but rather to refer to a migration evolution , which implies that the population is largely urban-based, and people are moving between and within urban places. o We can expect that every country in the world will experience a migration transition as part of an overall demographic transition, but some countries are apt to experience a larger migration evolution that others. In the United States, the migration transition is essentially complete, but population movements are part and parcel of American life, and so the country continues to evolve demographically as a consequence of emerging patterns of migration. 1 SOCI 121 Population Problems There were several decades when migration was in the direction of the industrializing centers in the northeastern and north central states to the rich farmland and industry in the Midwest. Until 1950, migrants had also been heading out of the southern states and into the northeastern and north central states.... View Full Document

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