Two Theories Of Migration


This web quest is designed to explain a little about to migration theories. These theories are: Ravenstein’s Laws of Migration and Lee’s Theory. The theorist for these are E.G. Ravenstein  and  Everret  Lee. first the meaning of migration according to  Migration is the movement of people from one permanent home to another.


At the end of the  of this  web quest  students  would accomplish: 

  • An understanding of each theory 
  • known the difference between the theories 
  • will know each theory by just seeing a diagram demonstration.

Ravenstein laws of migration was developed in year 1885. With  the  usage of birthplace data, Ravenstein identified a set of generalizations, which he called as ‘laws of migration’ concerning inter-county migration in Britain in the nineteenth century. Most of these generalizations hold good even today.

characteristics of  ravenstein  law:

  • There is an inverse relation between distance and volume of migration. Majority of migrants moves to short distance only. Migrants going long distance generally go by preference to the large centres of commerce and industry.
  • Migration proceeds step by step. The inhabitants of countryside flock into the nearby rapidly growing town. The gap created by this out-migration in the countryside is filled up by in-migration from still remoter countryside. The inhab­itants of the town then move to the nearby urban centre up in the hierarchy.
  • Every migration current produces a counter-current.
  • The native of the rural areas are more mobile than their counterpart in the urban areas, and the major direction of migration is from agricultural areas to the centres of industry and commerce.
  • Females are more mobile than male in the country of birth, but male more frequently venture beyond.
  • Migration is highly age selective where adults in the working age groups display a greater propensity to migrate.
  • Volume of migration increases with the process of diversifi­cation of the economy, and improvement in transport facilities.
  • Migration occurs mainly due to economic reasons.

Ravenstein's 'laws' of Migration

Lee's Theory 

Everett Lee started this comprehensive theory of migration in  year 1966,  begins  with his formulations with factors, which lead to spatial mobility of population in any area. his factors are :

  •  Factors associated with the place of origin,
  • Factors associated with the place of destination,
  • Intervening obstacles
  • Personal factors.

characteristics  of this  theory:

  • Migration is selective in nature. Due to differences in personal factors, the conditions at the places of origin and destination, and intervening obstacles are responded differently by different individuals. The selectivity could be both positive and negative. It is positive when there is selection of migrants of high quality, and negative when the selection is of low quality.
  • Migrants responding to positive factors at destination tend to be positively selected.
  • Migrants responding to negative factors at origin tend to be negatively selected.
  • Taking all migrants together, selection tends to be bimodal.
  • Degree of positive selection increases with the difficulty of intervening obstacles.

  • The heightened propensity to migrate at certain stages of life cycle is important in the selection of migration.

  • The characteristics of migrants tend to be intermediate between the characteristics of populations at the places of origin and the place of destination.

Lee's model of migration


In conclusion  can be  say  that both theorist have different  ways o f looking on migrants. ravenstein law mainly focus on the economically version of migration and while lee theory mainly focus on the personal aspect, like why would a person be a  migrant.