Human Migration: A detailed Overview

Human Migration: A detailed Overview

If you have a passion for travelling across cities, countries and continents, you will have no doubt found yourself comparing these different locations by their various geographies, cultures and customs, but all according to your own personal understanding and experiences of the world and your existence within it.

In each of these locations there are differences everywhere we look, some subtle some not so.  The way people walk and talk, the shape of water bottles, the colour of the tiles on the pavement, the shapes and sizes of trees and the fragrances of flowers all tell our senses something about our surroundings. Even over a distance of only 100 miles, the topography of the land will vary considerably, as will the rules and traditions, and of course the humans living there will also be very different.

We all know about the diversity and variations present in different parts of the world but still our curiosity compels us to compare and question ourselves, or our countryman, whenever we return from a trip. The usual question is: why are some cities, societies and countries doing better that others and why is there such a disparity between them?

The basic division among people living across the wide-ranging parts of the planet seems to be pre-historic and an integral part of the earth’s natural design. The climate and other aspects of geography have also played their role in the primary distinctions between different parts of the world.

Recent and ancient history explains the formation and development of the world map over a period of centuries. The perpetual wars between the tribes and nations have finally shaped the earth as it is today, with clear demarcations of borders and boundaries.

Nature’s selection of the earth as a habitable planet with favorable temperatures and weather seems to have a deep rooted significance in the entire networking of the universe. However, this is an out of the context topic and requires profound contemplation; that’s why earth is selected. And, to add another relevant thought: humans could be very different if living on some other planet.

Coming back to the comparison, although everyone compares and looks at the world differently and as per his or her own perspective on life, in the current world of free market economics and materialism, the first comparison that comes to all is generally made on the basis of the richness of the city or country. This is usually shown through its gigantic buildings and other concrete infrastructure.

Leaving aside the grand architecture of modern metropolitan areas, let’s talk about the state of minds of the people living in different cities. Looking at the people through the lens of their happiness levels tells us a lot about the country’s or state’s policies and governance in keeping her subjects content and happy.

For example if we take a common man, like a farmer or a convenience shop owner, living in the countryside or in counties such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh or Pakistan and compare his lifestyle, happiness, contentment and purpose of life with a person of same age group but living in Tokyo or New York, the results will apparently declare the common man as happier and more content.

With certain exceptions, humans in modern cosmopolitan cities will be less happy, more depressed from day to day stresses, farther away from nature and most likely stuck in the corporate rat race.

The farmer, as mentioned above, doesn’t want to leave his village in most cases, and he or she may not have travelled to other countries, especially to the most advanced ones. However, it’s not that the farmer is not aware of the exotic glamour of the international cities but more that he or she seems settled in their own piece of land.

During the last few decades economic migration has been widely discussed. It is an especially pivotal subject of discourse in Europe and the United states.


  • The basic nature of humans, tribes and nations is to compare each other in all aspects, usually involving competition and envy at various stages. Also, the need to travel and explore relates to this point.
  • The apparent contentment of a simple villager in his or her simple own space of peace, who is not willing to shift to any other place for any season is a second point to ponder upon.


  • Who are the economic migrants? Why do they want to cross the human made-borders on earth? What are their motives other than economics?
    Why can’t they live happily in their own countries of birth? Do they find it difficult to know their purpose/meaning in life within their own countries? Why was the migration of 50 years ago not labelled as economic migration?


  • Many such questions relate to the history of extensive human migrations across the continents and the resulting impact on cultures worldwide. The invasions throughout history may also be considered forced migrations. However, historical facts about migration and invasion seem irrelevant in the present world.
  • Another question is, should we discourage all kind of migration despite it having played its role in evolution and human development and further, should humans be settled in their specific, bordered lands?


  • Economic migration evidently is an outcome of poverty: a lack of opportunities, education and health facilities in many parts of the world become significant reasons for economic migration. Some countries have become rich, under the name of their explorations or invasions of other countries and some have later developed a stable economy through migrants coming to their land from all across the world. This is all history and in the present world, economic migration looks like a dividing line between the worlds of the rich and the poor. The state government is generally held responsible for the well-being of her subjects. The state is liable for ensuring that its citizens are getting all the basics required to live and prosper in their countries. After these above points, it seems that even if economic migration is forcefully stopped so people cannot migrate from poor to rich countries, humans will still compare, have a desire to travel and will try to move and settle in places far away from the land of their origin.


Some conclusive questions of this inquisitive thesis: why has nature divided humans into nations and tribes? For instance, why are the people living in Kabul so different from those living in Zurich?

Should people be restricted to only residing in their own sections of the earth? Are their birth places destined as per the “Grand design” of nature? The truth is that such restrictions could never be enforced and people would continue to travel and migrate from one place to another.


Is the basic human need to travel and mingle with other tribes also part of nature’s design?

What are humans actually looking for when they travel?

Are humans only seeking material gain, peace, and happiness or are they looking for adventures when they travel across the world?

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Dreams and illusions
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