Emigration is the act and the phenomenon of leaving one's native country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of state boundaries or within one state, is termed migration. There are many reasons why people might choose to emigrate. Some are for political or economic reasons, or for personal reasons like finding a spouse while visiting another country and emigrating to be with them. Many older people living in rich nations with cold climates will choose to move to warmer climates when they retire.
Many political or economic emigrants move together with their families toward new regions or new countries where they hope to find peace or job opportunities not available to them in their original location. Throughout history a large number of emigrants return to their homelands, often after they have earned sufficient money in the other country. Sometimes these emigrants move to countries with big cultural differences and will always feel as guests in their destinations, and preserve their original culture, traditions and language, sometimes transmitting them to their children. The conflict between the native and the newer culture may easily create social contrasts, generally resulting in an uncomfortable situation for the "foreigners", who have to understand legal and social systems sometimes new and strange to them. Often, communities of emigrants grow up in the destination areas.
Emigration had a profound influence on the world in the 19th and the 20th century, when hundreds of thousands of poor families left Europe for the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
Even though definitions may be vague and vary somewhat, emigration/immigration should not be confused with the phenomenon of involuntary migration, such as instances of population transfer or ethnic cleansing.
- War or other armed conflict
- Famine or drought
- Political corruption
- Disagreement with politics
- Religious fundamentalism / religious intolerance
- Natural disasters
- Discontent with the natives, such as frequent harassment, bullying, and abuse
- Lack of employment opportunities
- Lack of various rights
These factors, excepting disagreement with politics and discontent with natives, generally do not affect people in developed countries; even a natural disaster is unlikely to cause out-migration.
- Higher incomes
- Lower taxes
- Better weather
- Better availability of employment
- Better medical facilities
- Better education facilities
- Better behaviour among people
- Family reasons
- Political stability
- Secular society
- Religious tolerance