AP Human Geography: Migration Vocabulary

Brain Drain

The large-scale emigration of talented citizens of a country who leave to seek better opportunities for their talents

Chain Migration

The migration of people to a certain location because family members of the same nationality previously migrated there


Occurs when a country legally ties a sovereign state to itself and then settles it as its own


Net migration from urban to rural areas in MDCs

Distance Decay

The diminishing in the likeliness of a migrant to immigrate to an area based on how far away it is


The migration from a location

Forced Migration

Permanent movement, usually compelled by cultural factors, that is done due to an outside force

Guest Workers

Workers who migrate to the more developed countries of North and West Europe, usually from South and East Europe or North Africa, in search of higher-paying jobs


The migration to a new location

International Migration

The permanent movement from one country to another

Interregional Migration

The permanent movement from one region of a country to another

Intervening Obstacle

An environmental or cultural feature of a landscape that hinders migration

Intraregional Migration

The permanent movement within one region of a country

Laws of Migration


A permanent move to a new location

Migration Transition

The change in the migration pattern in a society that results from industrialization, population growth, and other changes that also produce demographic transitions

Pull Factor

A feature that induces people to move to a certain location

Push Factor

A feature that induces people to move out of a current location


A limit on maximum number of people who can immigrate to an area annually


A person who is forced to migrate from his or her home country and cannot return for fear of persecution due to his or her race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or group

Step Migration

Migration that follows a path of a series of stages or steps towards a final destination


The seasonal migration of livestock between mountains and lowlands

Voluntary Migration

Permanent movement undertaken by choice

Internally Displaced Person (IDP)


Money migrants send back to family and friends in their home countries, often in cash, forming an important part of the economy in many poorer countries

asylum seeker