Q:

What does "voluntary migration" mean?

A:

"Voluntary migration" means relocation according to personal desires. People decide to move to a new place for many reasons, and those who voluntarily migrate are often motivated by economic reasons and are searching for a better life.

This type of human migration encompasses migrant labor and chain migration, wherein community members and families follow the primary migrant to another country. Typically, people who desire to move assess the push and pull factors of their present location and chosen destination before making a decision.

The major factors that affect voluntary migration are employment opportunities and the desire to live in a better home. Other contributing factors include changes in life’s course such as retiring or getting married, opting for a different political system and relocating to a different school district in the hope of a better education. Newlywed couples buy a new home, while retired individuals search for a peaceful place to spend the rest of their days. Parents want a better neighborhood for their children, and teenagers decide to move for college.

Many Americans move several times within their lives. Based on a 2010 study by the U.S. Census Bureau, 37.5 million people, or 12.5 percent of the population, changed residences in the country.

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