Migration is defined as the movement of people across international borders for a minimum of 1 year. This can occur on a variety of scales, domestic migration involves the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas, whereas international migration is the movement of people from one country to another. Migration often happens as people search for better job opportunities and better standards of living.
In theory this process should reduce disparities but it is not always the case. Disparities are the gaps between the wealthy and the poor.
As we look at a country of origin, such like India, ‘brain drain’ is a factor that increases the disparities within the country. Brain drain refers to the emigration of well-educated, knowledgeable and skilled professional from their home country to another; this is an example of the increase of disparities of a country.
Brain drain occurs mostly in LDCs where career opportunities and higher education is very limited, thus having people migrate to MDCs in search of more opportunities.
The education system in India is one of the top in the world, however once Indians graduate they tend to leave India to move to other countries, such as the USA, in search for better job opportunities.
As the more skilled and educated people of India migrate, India is left with the less educated, elderly and also there if a rise in the female proportion as men are more likely to migrate. As for a way that India is able to reduce disparities in their wealth and development, this is through the process of remittances. Sending remittances from the destination country to the country of origin to help increase, for example, the standards of living of one’s family.
The money sent back is not taxed so families back home would get the exact amount. India is the world’s leading receiver of remittances, which claims more than 12% of the world’s remittances in 2007. The act of sending remittances has helped India’s GDP rise by 3%. Another way that disparities is reduced is that when the people who migrated out of India come back to work in their country of origin, they bring back a new set of skills which would benefit their jobs within their country and benefits the economy too.
Now looking at a country of destination, like the United States as an example, a country of origin would also increase disparities due to the fact that as people migrate to MDCs it is sometimes the case where they cannot find employment which then rises the unemployment rate of that country, or they tend to settle down in the poorer regions of the country as they cannot afford a middle-class standard of living. An example of a minority group in the US is the Mexican immigrants. 5% of Mexican immigrants live in poverty in the US. The majority of migrants to the US, 31% have not completed high school, as well as 33% lack health insurance. This increases disparities in the US because poor immigrants strain the USA’s public sector such as local schools and health care. Although a way of reducing disparities would be that the income earned in the country of destination, the USA, is higher than what migrants would earn in their country of origin, for example India or Mexico.
This would help decrease disparities as, again, it would help raise their families (or their own) standard of living. In conclusion migration could help reduce disparities in wealth and development with the help of remittances, higher education both helping migrants to increase their standard of living. Although this is not always the case as troubles with employment and could keep the gap, between the wealthy and the poor, remaining the same. So all in all migration sometimes does reduce disparities in wealth and development, but not always.
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