Migration and Population Distribution

Migration is becoming an increasingly important determinant of national and regional population distributions, as well as an important determinant of the socioeconomic well-being and health of both migrants and nonmigrants.

Affiliates of the CU Population Center (CUPC) are engaged in scholarship on these complex and important contemporary issues related to population redistribution. Within the study of migration and population distribution, research by CUPC affiliates can be categorized into three broad arenas:

  1. Methodological Efforts: CUPC affiliates have been pivotal in establishing methods used widely in migration studies, including techniques for indirect estimation of migration, as well as multiregional demographic projections. In addition, new work is at the leading edge of a movement to link qualitative and quantitative studies of migration.
  2. Migration and Population Distribution in Wealthy Countries: Several CUPC affiliates examine migration within developed nations, including the U.S., as related to changing labor markets, as well as such factors as retirement, amenities, and the availability of public welfare payments.
  3. Migration, Social Networks, and Well-Being in Poorer Countries: In poorer countries, individuals and households depend primarily on informal social networks for support and security, rather than markets and institutions. In many of these contexts, migration allows families to diversify their sources of livelihood and gain investment capital in societies lacking the institutional financial mechanisms present in richer countries. Several CUPC affiliates are examining the opportunities and risks migration poses for migrants and those left behind. In addition, they are exploring the role played by global economic forces and preexisting social norms in determining migration’s impact.