Positive and Negative Impacts of Migration

As a species, we have certainly set the bar high when it comes to seeking out greener pastures for that is what we sought out when we first decided to migrate out of Africa. It is theorized that at some point in the last two million years ago, early man first migrated out of Africa in his quest for a better location, with ready access to food and a better climate. In a sense, he was successful which is why we have populated the entire world today, but migration seems to have seeped into our consciousness to the point that some of us are still planning to migrate to other countries for the very same reason. We either choose to apply as an immigrant or opt for the illegal route but the issue has taken on a more serious tone after several nations decided to clamp down on migration. Here’s to taking a closer look at some of the positives and negative impacts of migration.

Positive and negative impacts of Migration

The Positive Impact of Migration

  • Career opportunities: Migration offers many viable career opportunities, enabling them to earn a much higher income than they would have back in their country of origin. Most of the migrants often seek to migrate in their quest for better opportunities than the ones they have back home. This, in turn, provides the host country with a ready source of cheap labour; in fact, some of the top electronics industries in the west, owe their success today to migrant labour and the fact that they were able to utilize cheap labour which resulted in them in becoming more competitive. Migration provides individuals with better career prospects, better income and even good health plans, which is why the migration numbers worldwide have been increasing exponentially over the last decade.
  • Cultural diversity: Migration helps to increase cultural diversity; as people are introduced to newer cultures and customs, they often react along predictable lines. But cultural diversity is good in the sense it enables the community to come together and even helps it to act as a cohesive unit. While on the outset, the new customs and traditions may seem a bit odd to the natives, taking the effort to understand them and the context behind it enables people to develop closer relations with the newcomers.
  • Highly skilled labour: It is a fact that there is an acute shortage of highly skilled labour in certain parts of the world from the US to Europe. Immigration enables these countries to get highly skilled labour in the form of doctors, engineers, scientists and much more.

Negative Impacts of Migration

  • Brain drain: More often than not it is the young and the extremely skilled who choose to migrate and the fact that this has been taking place in larger numbers than before is indeed a disturbing trend. What this means is that one nation gets to lose out on young, talented people whose skills could have come in handy in developing the nation further. This is what constitutes a brain drain, similar to what the US did to Germany at the end of world war two when it managed to entice most of the German scientists to immigrate to the United States.
  • Skewed demographics: The impact of migration as far as demographics go, on large nations like India is minimal at best. However, when it comes to smaller nations like the Maldives, the impact can be seen right away. As a result of most of the young men migrating out of Maldives, it has resulted in skewed demographics which is not good for the nation in the long run.
  • Family breakup: As one member of the family or more seek to migrate in search of better opportunities, this often results in a family breakup. For those who have been part of a close-knit family unit, such breakups can cause extreme emotional distress and may even lead to a breakdown.
  • Development: Depending on the size of the nation, a brain drain can even impact the development of the nation as a whole, setting it back by decades.

These are some of the positive and negative impacts of migration; migration is a fact of life and has been so since time immemorial. It is something that we all need to accept and find a viable solution that both address this eternal quest for greener pastures and to help mitigate some of the negative effects that arise out of such a migration.

Alan Behrens

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