We explain what migration is and the types of migration that can occur in animals and humans. Also, its causes and consequences.

Migrations have been a source of cultural, racial and economic diversity.

What is migration?

When we speak of migration, we refer to the displacement of human populations (or animals, as the case may be) from a usual origin to a new permanent destination, where they again establish their home. It is a term used in the sociological and also biological fields, depending on whether we speak of human migrations or animal migrations.

In the case of animals, these displacements they can be regular, according to a mating calendar, or definitive, due to pressures of another nature; but in the case of human populations it is usually a more complicated matter, motivated by reasons of a diverse nature and which also impacts the society of destiny.

Migration is a phenomenon to which the humanity It has been used since ancient times, as there have always been groups that for one reason or another leave their place of residence to found new settlements or join existing ones.

In fact, migrations throughout history have been a powerful source of diversity cultural, racial and economic, which has fostered development through exchange.

However, migration does not always happen in a happy context. There are also abundant cases of displaced by wars, by famines or natural disasters, seeking asylum and new opportunities in other latitudes, not to mention the exiles and populations expelled for racial or political reasons from their homelands, becoming pariahs or citizens wandering until they found a home again elsewhere.

Types of migration

We have already said that there are two forms of migration, depending on whether we are talking about animals or Humans. However, in the latter case, we can also talk about certain migratory categories, which are:

  • Depending on the duration of the displacement. One can speak of temporary migrations, in which the population He spends time away from his place of origin and later returns to it; or permanent migrations, in which a one-way trip to another place is undertaken.
  • Depending on the nature of the displacement. Depending on whether the move is voluntary or not, we can speak of voluntary migration or forced migration, respectively.
  • According to the destination of the displacement. can we talk about internal migrations, when the destination is chosen within the same country, or external migrations, when it is an international destination.

Causes of migration

Wars often make cities and countries uninhabitable.

In the case of animal migration, the causes generally have to do with two things:

  • Winter and the breeding season. Many species they flee the coming cold by traveling south, or they travel long distances to return to a specific breeding or spawning site.
  • Habitat alterations. They occur when something breaks the ecological balance of your habitat: the arrival of new species, the pollution of the environment or natural disasters.

The causes of human migration, on the other hand, can be more diverse:

  • Economic crisis, poverty or famine. When living conditions in a country or region deteriorate beyond what is bearable, it is common for human populations to start migrating, seeking opportunities elsewhere.
  • Wars and armed conflicts. Violence often renders uninhabitable cities and the countries, forcing their inhabitants to start the march towards peaceful areas or areas outside the conflict.
  • Exiles and persecutions. Changes in the political regime usually bring about radical changes in the rules of the game of society, and in these cases some people or communities are forced to abandon their homes and their lives, expelled outside the country, or flee to save their own lives.
  • Natural disasters. Cataclysms, climatic disasters, major industrial or energy accidents, and a large number of accidents that make life difficult in the place of origin.

Consequences of migration

Human migrations usually have great repercussions on both the place of origin and the place of destination, such as:

  • Demographic changes. This includes the emptying of cities and regions of the place of origin, generating a cultural and economic vacuum that sometimes complicates things even more for those who remain, and the massive arrival of migrants to the place of destination, generating a greater demand of local resources.
  • Cultural and ethnic exchange. Mixing and miscegenation, hybridization of cultures and of the races, it contributes new and fresh inputs both to the destination society and to the genetic well of its population, enhancing the difference, variety and cultural richness.
  • Changes in economic dynamics. Migrants often send money to their left-behind relatives, representing a new and additional economic movement at the destination. At the same time they provide workforce for their new society and sometimes the wealth that they carry with them.
  • Xenophobia. Resistance to migration by the inhabitants of the destination can reach dangerous limits and trigger violence, racism and other extreme manifestations.
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