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After watching this video, you will be able to explain what migration is, and describe in general terms the common migration patterns of Europeans.

A short quiz will follow.

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What Is Migration?

Humans don’t like to sit still. And historically, humans have moved around a lot, traveling and spreading out all over the world. In certain parts of the world (the U.S.

A., for example), families can tell you their history and how they’ve moved from country to country over the years.Migration of humans is the seasonal or long-term movement of humans from one area of the Earth to another. For example, if you move from the United States to Canada, you’ve migrated. Or if you move to a new city to find a better job, you’ve just migrated.Humans migrate for all kinds of reasons. Some of those reasons are economic, like pursuing jobs or searching for a more comfortable life.

Some of those reasons are social, like fleeing from persecution or intolerance. And some of those reasons are physical, like a natural disaster or being forcibly pushed out of a country. Today, we’re going to talk about why people tend to move around in Europe, following some of the most common migration patterns.

European Migration Patterns

It would be impossible to properly discuss European migration patterns without talking about the political structures that exist there. Many of the countries of Europe are part of a political and economic partnership called the European Union. Those countries are Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, and Sweden. That’s a lot of countries.

One of the key rules of the European Union is that citizens can freely move between countries to find work. So internal migration inside the EU is extremely common and is one of the key migration patterns of Europe. Even though the EU contains some of the richest countries in Europe, not all the countries are equally prosperous. For this reason, the net direction of migration tends to be from Eastern Europe to Western Europe; Eastern European countries tend to have much lower incomes, so people move to countries further west for a better life.

This is especially true of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, which have some of the highest levels of migration into their countries.As well as permanent migration, there is some seasonal migration in Europe. The south of Europe comes alive during the summer; tourism suddenly becomes a significant part of the economy, especially in countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece. People from northern Europe often choose these destinations for holiday homes and spend part of the year in the south, and workers move south at this time of year for the same reason.There is also a lot of migration outside of the EU.

Although moving to the EU from the outside is much harder, a lot of people are still allowed to enter for a variety of reasons. Some people come to the EU for jobs and some come seeking asylum to escape persecution. Others come to reunite with family members after years apart. But whatever the reasons, there is no doubt that Europe is very attractive as a place to move. Western Europe is one of the richest parts of the world, with extremely high living standards.Migration has definitely increased gradually over the years and decades in Europe, as the area has grown increasingly strong economically.

This is true of all kinds of immigration: for jobs, for family, and for asylum. Although migration from outside Europe is often seen negatively by the public, it is acknowledged by EU reports that this migration is good for the economy. The migrants relieve labor shortages, create new jobs, and help stimulate the economy.

Lesson Summary

Migration of humans is the seasonal or long-term movement of humans from one area of the Earth to another.

Humans migrate for all kinds of reasons that are economic, social, and physical.Many of the countries of Europe are part of a political and economic partnership called the European Union, or EU. One of the key rules of the European Union is that citizens can freely move between countries to find work. So internal migration inside the EU is common and is one of the key migration patterns of Europe. Even though the EU contains some of the richest countries in Europe, not all the countries are equally prosperous. For this reason, the net direction of migration tends to be from Eastern Europe to Western Europe.

There is also some seasonal migration. The south of Europe comes alive during the summer; tourism suddenly becomes a significant part of the economy in countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece. People from northern Europe often choose these destinations for holiday homes; workers move south at this time of year for the same reason.

There’s also migration from outside the EU. Some people come to the EU for jobs and some people come seeking asylum to escape persecution. Others come to reunite with family members after years apart. Western Europe is one of the richest parts of the world, with extremely high living standards, and that makes it very attractive to migration from around the world.

Lesson at a Glance

In Europe, the migration of humans tends to be for economic, social, or physical reasons.

Many citizens of the European Union are freely able to move between countries to find work. In fact, there tends to be a movement from the lower income Eastern Europe to the more prosperous Western Europe. Additionally, people seasonally migrate from the north to the south, enjoying the summer months in countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece.

Europeans tend to move from the lower-income east to the more prosperous west for better opportunities.
European migration

Learning Outcomes

Expected learning outcomes for this lesson include your ability to:

  • Lay out the reasons that humans migrate
  • Analyze the human migration patterns of Europeans

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