Migration in Asia

Elin Charles-Edwards, Salahudin Muhidin, Martin Bell, Yu Zhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Asia presents a unique setting for the study of human migration. Home to more than three-fifths of the world’s population and spanning almost a third of global land mass, Asia is host to diverse cultures, economies, political systems and settlement patterns. In tandem with national variations in population size and composition, these factors have led to marked variations in human spatial mobility across the region. This chapter draws on emerging data on international and internal migration to explore migration intensity and patterns of spatial redistribution both between and within Asian countries. The chapter begins by tracing patterns of international migration using data from the United Nations and The World Bank and identifies four distinct migration systems. Turning to internal migration, data from the IMAGE project (Bell et al. 2015a) are used to explore cross-national differences in the lifetime intensity and pattern of spatial redistribution within 16 Asian countries. Results reveal considerable diversity in international and internal migration, reflecting differences in levels of urbanisation, in the effect of government policies, and in stages of economic development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational handbook of migration and population distribution
EditorsMichael J. White
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789401772822
ISBN (Print)9789401772815
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameInternational Handbooks of Population
ISSN (Print)1877-9204
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1877


  • International migration
  • Internal migration
  • MobilityTransition
  • Cross-national comparisons
  • Data


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