Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Therese Norman
Chapter 22: Interregional migration analysis
Since man’s emergence on the earth’s surface he has constantly moved from place to place, over short and long distances, in search of improvements in individual circumstances and environmental conditions. (G.J. Lewis, 1982) Movements of individuals from one place to another have been taking place since the origin of man. Du Toit and Safa (1975) even argue that one of the distinguishing characteristics of Homo sapiens is his ‘tendency to migrate’. This tendency has increased over time and its characteristics have gradually changed. In the beginning, the distances tended to be shorter and linked to basic survival instincts. In modern society migration has become more frequent and greater in distance, and with stronger linkages to improving one’s position in society rather than being a matter of simple survival. Increased migration, which is part of the general ‘globalization’ phenomenon, is partly attributable to the technological advances in transportation, but is also associated with the general increase in educational levels of the population. One of the most interesting findings in terms of characteristics of migrants is that better-educated people tend to be more mobile than their less-educated counterparts, suggesting – as Plane and Rogerson (1994) note – that migration seems to display a certain degree of ‘elitism’ that is especially prevalent in developed countries.
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