Why Do We Move?


Some move to attend college, to start a new job, or to be close to family and friends. Some move to build a better life or escape from poverty, conflict, persecution, or natural disasters. Some are forced to move through human trafficking and enslavement. And some are pushed aside to make room for economic development and urban renewal.

Often people move for a combination of reasons, including forces beyond their control.

“no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark

you only run for the border

when you see the whole city running as well ”

From “Home” by Warsan Shire, Somali British poet

Source: https://www.facinghistory.org/standing-up-hatred-intolerance/warsan-shire-home


Our decisions to move are influenced by forces beyond our control, such as where and when we were born and what conditions are like in our area. Migrants are often forced to choose between several bad options. Stay and you may face difficulties and danger. Leave and you may face an uncertain future in a place you know nothing about and where you know no one.

A family from Florida stops in North Carolina on the way to New Jersey in 1940. From 1916 to 1970, six million African Americans moved from the rural South to cities in the North, Midwest, and West in an attempt to escape poverty and racial oppression. Photo by Jack Delano/Farm Security Administration

Talkback question – Why would you move? What would it take for you to move? Would you move to start a new job or to be closer to family? Would you move if conditions in your area suddenly changed? Think about how forces outside your control might influence your decision.

Share your migration stories using #WorldOnTheMove