Population and Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 273–302

Migration and Environmental Hazards


DOI: 10.1007/s11111-005-3343-x

Cite this article as:
Hunter, L.M. Popul Environ (2005) 26: 273. doi:10.1007/s11111-005-3343-x


Losses due to natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes) and technological hazards (e.g., nuclear waste facilities, chemical spills) are both on the rise. One response to hazard-related losses is migration, with this paper offering a review of research examining the association between migration and environmental hazards. Using examples from both developed and developing regional contexts, the overview demonstrates that the association between migration and environmental hazards varies by setting, hazard types, and household characteristics. In many cases, however, results demonstrate that environmental factors play a role in shaping migration decisions, particularly among those most vulnerable. Research also suggests that risk perception acts as a mediating factor. Classic migration theory is reviewed to offer a foundation for examination of these associations.

Key words

Environmental hazardsinternal migrationinternational migrationmigrationnatural hazardstechnological hazardsresidential mobility

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program on Environment and Behavior, Institute of Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSAUSA