Internal migration

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Internal migration or domestic migration is human migration within one geopolitical entity, usually a nation-state. Internal migration tends to be travel for education and for economic improvement or because of a natural disaster or civil disturbance.[1] Cross-border migration often occurs for political or economic reasons. A general trend of movement from rural to urban areas, in a process described as urbanization, has also produced a form of internal migration.[citation needed]


Many countries have experienced massive internal migration.

Secondary migration

A subtype of internal migration is the migration of immigrant groups—often called secondary or onward migration. Secondary migration is also used to refer to the migration of immigrants within the European Union.

In the United States, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services's Administration for Children and Families, is tasked with managing the secondary migration of resettled refugees.[2][3] However, there is little information on secondary migration and associated programmatic structural changes.[4] Secondary migration has been hypothesized as one of the driving forces behind the distribution of resettled refugees in the United States.[5]

Somalis and secondary migration in the United States

Somalis, a refugee group that was initially widely dispersed in the United States, has formed significant communities in Minnesota, Ohio and Washington.[6] Secondary migration to Minneapolis, Minnesota and Columbus, Ohio, has made those two areas first and second, respectively, in Somali American population.[6] Geographer Tamara Mott states that being near family, friends, and other Somalis was the main reason Somalis migrated to Columbus, OH.[7]

Lewiston, Maine, became a secondary migration destination for Somalis after social service agencies relocated a few families there in February 2001.[8] Between 1982 and 2000, resettlement agencies placed refugees, including 315 Somalis, in the Portland, Maine area.[8] High rates of rental housing occupancy in Portland led to the first relocations to Lewiston.[8] Somalis have a history of nomadism and maintain contact, often via cell phone, with a large network of extended family, clan members, and friends.[8] More Somalis learned about Lewiston and were attracted by the quality of life there, the low housing costs, good schools, safety and greater social control of their children in the smaller town.[8] Between February 2001 and August 2002 over 1,000 Somalis moved to Lewiston.[7] Most of these early secondary migrants came from Clarkston, Georgia, a suburb just outside Atlanta.[8] By 2007, Somalis were 6.5% of the population of Lewiston[9] and had come to the city from all over the United States and at least three other countries.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "World Migration Report 2020". IOM World Migration Report. 2019-11-27. doi:10.18356/b1710e30-en. ISBN 9789290687894. ISSN 2414-2603.
  2. ^ 96th Congress (March 17, 1980). "Public Law 96-212" (PDF). United States Government Publishing Office. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  3. ^ 1980 Refugee Act. Pub. L. 96-212. 94 Stat. 102. 17 March 1980.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ Ott, Eleanor (September 2011). "Get up and go: Refugee resettlement and secondary migration in the USA". New Issues in Refugee Research. No 219.
  5. ^ Forrest, Tamar Mott; Brown, Lawrence A (7 April 2014). "Organization-Led Migration, Individual Choice, and Refugee Resettlement in the US: Seeking Regularities". Geographical Review. 104 (1): 10–32. doi:10.1111/j.1931-0846.2014.12002.x. S2CID 145203163.
  6. ^ a b Forrest, Tamara Mott; Brown, Lawrence A. (Jan 2014). "Organization-Led Migration, Individual Choice, and Refugee Resettlement in the U.S.: Seeking Regularities". Geographical Review. 104 (1): 10–32. doi:10.1111/j.1931-0846.2014.12002.x. S2CID 145203163.
  7. ^ a b Mott, Tamara E. (Feb 2010). "African refugee resettlement in the US: the role and significance of voluntary agencies". Journal of Cultural Geography. 27 (1): 1–31. doi:10.1080/08873631003593190. S2CID 145626526 – via MasterFILE Elite.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Huisman, Kimberly A.; Hough, Mazie; Langellier, Kristin M.; Toner, Carol Nordstrom, eds. (2011). Somalis in Maine: Crossing Cultural Currents. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. pp. 23–56. ISBN 978-1-55643-926-1.
  9. ^ Nadeau, Phil (Summer 2007). "The New Mainers: State and local agencies form partnerships to help Somali immigrants". National Civic Review. 96 (2): 55–57. doi:10.1002/ncr.180 – via Advanced Placement Source.